When I was first teaching my preschooler to count I came up with a counting game. Then when it was time to move on to the written numbers I kept the same concept but changed it up a bit. This was our first preschool sensory activity and from this point on she was hooked.
I used this preschool sensory activity something like a test after we were done with our lessons for the month with her learning 1:1 correspondence. It was a great way for me to gauge how much of what we were learning she retained.
Things I used to make this activity happen:
- Bottle caps numbered 0 – 6
- Die (the one with the pips on it not the one with the written form of the number
- Rice ( we used colored, but plain white or brown rice works just as well.)
- Sifter (with holes big enough that the rice can fall through)
- Place the colored rice in the bin
- Hide the numbered bottle caps in the rice
- Sit the die and sifter next to the bin and walk away
I give no instructions with activities like this unless she asks me. I try to leave these activities open for her to come up with her own way to play.
How To Play Our Preschool Sensory Activities
First she played with the top layer of the rice. I hid the bottle caps at the bottom and some in the middle.
Then she took the sifter and began to play in the bin. Once she discovered her first bottle cap she examined it and noticed that it had a number 3 on it. She used the sifter and found all the other bottle caps.
Now that she has all of the bottle caps she moves the rice bin over and begins to roll the die.
She lands on the number 6 and she counts the pips out.
She checks all the bottle caps out and finds the number 6 but then puts it to the side, and rolls again.
Now she has found all the numbers with a couple of rolls bringing up duplicates of them numbers and she takes the number 6 and comes to me and tells me “6 right?” This number is her problem number and before she lays it with the rest of the numbers she just wants to be sure that she has the right number and not the number 9.
My preschooler plays this game again later on but with 2 die and currently we are up to 8 dice with her counting out all the pips and pulling the correct numbered bottle cap.