Teaching Children to Count Objects


As a first grade teacher in the public schools and in doing private tutoring in my home, I found it very rewarding to teach young students, and I know there are others who feel the same way.   Aspiring pre-school and elementary teachers can earn a teaching certificate online from a wide array of universities.

One student I tutored at my home knew how to count to ten, but one of the skills we had to work on a lot was how to count objects up to ten.  He would often get mixed up after counting five objects, would start counting too fast and miss some objects, or  he would start moving backwards and recount objects he had already counted.  It took a lot of repetition for him to learn to do this, and so we did various activities.  These are some of the activities we did:

  • Have student put 10 Teddy Grahams or Fish Crackers in a row.  Have student count slowly, touching each cookie or cracker as they count it.  Count with the student a couple of times if necessary. If successful, they get to eat one cookie.  Then count the 9 remaining cookies.  If successful, they get to eat one more cookie.  Repeat until all cookies have been eaten.
  • Use simple number workbooks.  I was able to find two sticker and activity workbooks for this student that he enjoyed. Some pages involved stickers and some involved coloring.
  • Line up various objects to count such as blocks, pennies, game pieces, etc.  Count how many there are and make a game out of it, such as put six blocks in the bucket, nine pennies in the piggy bank, etc.