Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Preschool Workbox :: Counting Activity

Last summer, as I was looking for preschool ideas on the web (blogs, mostly :), I came across the idea for using workboxes as a way to organize your preschool/early-ed's schoolwork.  (This is not a new idea, I know!  Just new to me :0)  I love how this system is designed to help young students be a little more independent during the schoolday... and hopefully keep them busy with educational or creative activities while Mom is busy with older siblings.

Ever since, I've been collecting ideas to set up some workboxes for Little Monkey - and even Peanut (who is just now growing into the stage where he can do something like that...).  BUT I always seem to run out of time, and just haven't gotten around to putting them together.  So, I've decided to try to include one workbox with each of our Alphabet units (since I'm planning and gathering materials for our lessons, anyway!) and slowly start building up a preschool workbox collection in this way.

This week, since we are finishing up our "C" unit, our first workbox is a simple Counting activity.  I've seen this one in many different places (blogs and other workbox websites)...but most recently, I found it in a very helpful book that I want to mention here, in case anyone else might be looking for  toddler/preschool activities - Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready by June Oberlander.  I am pretty sure this book has been referenced by Ruth Beechick (but don't quote me, lol! ;) ...at least, it reminds me a lot of her style of teaching.  It's a wonderful resource of activities to do with your preschoolers, beginning at birth through age five.  I know I'll be gleaning many ideas for our preschool (and workboxes) from this source!

.:: Counting Activity & Number Recognition Workbox ::.

Materials Needed
egg carton or muffin tin
contact paper (optional)
counters (beans, beads, buttons, etc.)

Cut circles of construction paper to fit the bottom of a muffin tin (or egg carton, if you're using one).  Label each paper with the numbers 1 through 12.  These can be covered in contact paper (or laminated) for durability.

(Just one little note, here....you can see in the pic that I put little decorative dots on my numbers.  My intention was just to make them cute & fun for LM, but it completely confused him!  He wanted to count the dots on each number to determine how many beads should go in the cup...and I ended up making new number cards altogether.  So I recommend using plain writing for this activity :0)

We used wooden beads for our counters, although buttons or dried beans would work great, too!

The object is to have your child place as many counters in each cup as needed, to match the number.  This week, LM and I will continue doing this activity together, until I know he understands it all well enough to work alone.

I wasn't sure if he would like this or not, but he ended up working on it for quite awhile and really seems to enjoy it!

Finished Activity:

For now, I am storing all of the workbox's materials in a labeled ziplock bag.  As our collection grows, I'm planning to keep all of the bags stored in an out-of-reach place, and only bring out the chosen activities for each day.  We'll see how it goes! ;)



  1. Good Morning!!!

    So cute that your little one wanted to count the dots on the numbers!!!

    I have this book!! It is a good one for sure. I like the fact that most of it's ideas are things you already have in your house.

    Good idea to have a work boxes to pull out when needed. What kind of box do you think you will use? Photo boxes?

    Love the bead/muffin tin/counting idea.

    Always so much fun to come over here and visit.

    1. LOL, I love being able to use things on hand, too! For the workboxes, I thought about using shoe-boxes at first, but decided to go with something durable to last through both of my little boys :) I found some sturdy shoe-sized plastic containers at Target that have clip-on lids...I think I have a pic of them on my post about this year's school room (http://artmama.blogspot.com/2011/09/this-years-school-room.html).

  2. lol! Love that LM is exuberant in learning... that he would count the dots on the numbers! Way to go, LM! (and your photography is great!)

  3. Thanks for reminding me. A friend gave me her copy last summer and I honestly just shelved it. I need to really take it out and get some fresh ideas for my little guys : D

  4. Aww.. I love that LM counted the dots on the numbers - so observant! This is a really cute idea and the book sounds great! I'm hoping our library might have a copy, if not it's going on my ever increasing wish list! Thanks for sharing this with us!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

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