Thursday, January 16, 2014

Counting kitties

My daughter, Bee is showing an interest in a new kitty book that we bought her. it has small kittens that can be used in role play. I decided to use these as a tool to help her in recognizing and counting the numbers 1 to 10. I know she likes role play and small world, so this is a good way to use them to aid another area in development. This activity could easily be adapted for your child, for example if they are interested in animals or cars, you could use them instead.


Who can play
Children aged two years and upwards.

What do you need
1. Number cards from 1 to 10 (or numbers 1-10 wrote on pieces of paper)
2. Objects to place on number cards when counting (we used small toy kittens, but you can use any objects that follow your child's interest, for example, cars, toy bugs, dinosaurs etc) 
3. Bucket or bowl to keep objects in
4. Space for your child to spread things out 

Consider the child's age and stage of development when joining in with this activity. Larger objects should be used for smaller children, to prevent choking.

What did we do
First we looked at the numbers on the cards. Bee pointed out the numbers that she knew. Whilst looking at the number three she said "that's me... I will be four in July". Placing the cards on the floor we tried to put them in order from 0 to 10. She added an extra 0 at the begining of the line for good measure and the remaining cards in the pack at the end of the number 10. I was quite surprised that Bee could do this, however she was a little unsure of the number 6.
It was then time to introduce the kitties. As soon as she saw them her role play mode was turned on. "This one can be the teacher" she said holding up a Siamese cat. "You hold it mummy and she will say hello to the kids". She would bring one kitty out at a time and place them on the numbers going from 0 to 10 and say "good morning Miss Kelly" (her preschool teacher) I then had to greet each kitty and ask them to sit on their spot (numbered card)
Once all the cards had a kitty on them, Isabella asked me to close my eyes and would take one away. This not only showed me that she could make up her own game, but that she could also count backwards.
She really enjoyed this activity and also carried it on in the afternoon by lining up her dinosaurs on the numbered cards.

What did we learn
Creative- making up your own game. Exploring role play
Physical- fine manipulative when picking up objects and hand eye coordination when placing them on the number cards. Moving in directions, such as left to right.
Mathematical- number recognition, counting forwards and backwards. Subtraction and addition
Personal, social and emotional- sharing thoughts and ideas and talking about personal experiences, school etc.
Knowledge and understanding of the world- look at similarities, differences, patterns and change.
Communication, language and literacy- talking through what she is doing and using talk to clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.

Follow up activities
Use the number cards and place corrosponding objects underneath them for example place 1 kitten underneath the number 1 card, 2 kittens under the number two, three kittens under the number three etc.
You could also swap the number cards for letter cards and find objects that begin with that letter, then place them on the top.

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