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Ball Jar Numbers: A Number Recognition Preschool Activity

Welcome back to another #PlayfulPreschool lesson plan. Today’s theme is balls. If you are new to Playful Preschool, it is simply a group of bloggers coming together to create a lesson plan for preschoolers based on a common theme weekly. The best part is that its free. Let’s walk.

Looking for a fun and creative way to work on number recognition with your preschool aged kids? Try this fun learning game that involves balls.


I will admit that this theme stumped me at first as I could not figure out what to do with balls and I tend to stick to preschool Science activities for my daughter.  Sure we can kick them and we can throw them but what else? Then it hit me- why not let J reinforce her numbers with balls! I could even see the idea bulb turn on.


What You Need for Ball Jar Numbers

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  • 20 or more styrofoam balls
  • a jar or some other container (I chose one of her buckets)
  •  markers (I am a stationary addict so the toughest decision was to figure out which one to choose)


1) Gather all your supplies and count out 20 balls. If you are working on just the numbers 1-10 then take out 10 balls from the pack. If you want to work on more numbers then take out more.

2) Assign a number to each ball and write it several times on the ball. For the tricky numbers (9 and 6) draw a line underneath them so it cannot be confused.

3) Place them all in your container whether it be a jar or a bucket. It could even be a cup. You just need something to hold all the numbered balls.

Looking for a fun and creative way to work on number recognition with your preschool aged kids? Try this fun learning game that involves balls.

The game is fairly simple. You allow your preschooler to remove only one ball at a time and they have to read the number on it. The aim is to get all the numbers correct so that the jar will be empty. For the numbers that are missed, simply show your preschooler the ball, state the number a few times (I tend to sing with some silly lyrics) to reinforce the number and place the ball back in the jar.

Don’t forget to check out the other activities below for our theme.


Fine Motor Ball Color Sorting by Still Playing School
What Makes Balls Bounce by Rainy Day Mum





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Jodie @ Growing Book by Book

Wednesday 15th of April 2015

What a fun way to practice number recognition.


Wednesday 15th of April 2015

What a fun activity. We have been working on numbers lately and I know they would love this. These balls could be used to play a variety of games once they mastered all the numbers (such as counting by twos). Love it!


Wednesday 15th of April 2015

Great idea! There are so many ways you can play with these!