Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Make Your Day Count!

Make Your Day Count! 
The wonderful thing about numbers and counting is that they are all around you in so many different ways.  The sounds and shapes and ideas of numbers are some of the most important things you can share with your child.  And the nice part is that your house and yard and neighborhood are full of numbers to be discovered.  Just start counting and you can't stop!

ALL BOOKS ARE COUNTING BOOKS!   The books listed here were written to explore and teach numbers, often within a story.  My favorite counting books include big examples of the numerals, not just the number words.  But any book offers many opportunities to count things.  So after you read any book together, go back through the pictures and count things.  Take turns choosing what you will count on each page: people, trees, stars, toys, doors and windows, flowers, words in the text, blue things, red things, whatever you find interesting.  Some picture books have page numbers.  Or you could just count the pages yourself.  Count the number of letters in the title or in the author's name.   Share a book with your child and count your day away!

(If you library does not have a book, be sure to ask for it through their interlibrary loan service.)

The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock by Jim Aylesworth
Big Fat Hen   by Keith Baker
Potato Joe  by Keith Baker
Duckie's Ducklings  by Frances Barry
The Water Hole  by Graeme Base
1, 2, 3, to the Zoo  by Eric Carle
Over in the Meadow  by Jane Cabrera
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!  by Eileen Christelow
ROAR!  A Noisy Counting Book  by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Fish Eyes  by Lois Ehlert
Turtle Splash!  by Cathryn Falwell
Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats
Ten Red Apples  by Virginia Miller
One Duck Stuck  by Phyllis Root

For this ACTION RHYME I use the tune to the traditional song A-Hunting We Will Go.  You can find the song on the internet.  Sing the song together a few times, clapping as you go, so everyone knows the tune and connects with the rhythm.  You can even march and clap and really get into it!  When you are ready, try using my words for A-Counting We Will Go!   Be sure to clap along while you sit, stand or march.  Make sure your child can see your actions to enjoy and, when he/she is old enough, to make the movements with you.
                                                  A-Counting We Will Go!

                                     A-counting we will go, a-counting we will go!
                                     We'll see the sun, and count to one.......1!
(Stop clapping, look up, shading your eyes, then hold up one finger and say "1" very loudly.)
(Start clapping again.)   A-counting we will go!

                                     A-counting we will go, a-counting we will go!
                                      We'll find a shoe, and count to two.......1, 2!
(Stop clapping, lean over and touch your shoes, then hold up two fingers and count "1, 2.")
(Start clapping again.)  A-counting we will go!

                                      A-counting we will go, a-counting we will go!
                                      We'll climb a tree, and count to three.......1, 2, 3!
(Stop clapping and make climbing motions with arms and legs, then hold out arms to be a tree, then hold up three fingers and count "1, 2, 3!")
(Start clapping again.)   A-counting we will go! 

                                       A-counting we will go, a-counting we will go!
                                        We'll close the door, and count to four.......1, 2, 3, 4!
(Stop your rhythmic clapping and clap one big clap for closing a door, or, better yet, go find a door and close it, then hold up four fingers and count "1, 2, 3, 4!")   
(Start clapping again.)    A-counting we will go! 

                                        A-counting we will go, a-counting we will go!
                                        We'll take a drive, and count to five......1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
(Stop clapping and hold your hands as if on a steering wheel and make a driving motion, then hold up five fingers and count "1, 2, 3, 4, 5!" )  
(Start clapping again.)    A-counting we will go!

Now be creative together and think up rhymes for 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!

COUNT WITH THE CALENDAR:  Not only does a calendar have numbers to recognize and to read, it has boxes perfect for writing in more numbers.  Every day choose something around the house to count: the number of pictures on your walls, windows in a room, beds in your house, pieces of mail in your mailbox, people in your family, spoons in the drawer, etc.  Write the number on the calendar with a note of what you counted.  Review all that you counted when you get to the end of a week or the month.  Take turns choosing what to count each day!

COUNTING CARDS:   Make your own flash cards up to 10 until your child is ready for up to 20!  This is so much better than the one you buy because you make them with your child, choosing a different color for each number, drawing the right number of circles or whatever shape you like on each card.  I believe as soon as a child can recognize a number or a letter, that child is READING.  Both your child and you should think in those terms.  Now, use your beautiful, homemade COUNTING CARDS to create and play lots of games.  The simplest game is to place the COUNTING CARDS one the floor or table and then put with each card the number of correct objects such as blocks or cars or crackers.   What ideas can you put into action with your COUNTING CARDS?  How about making a second set together and find matching numbers? The possibilities are endless!

FIND, COUNT AND COME BACK!     Here is a good game for using your COUNTING CARDS.  It teaches counting, memory, taking turns and vocabulary building.  It was one of my mother's favorites to play with her kindergarten students.  Children much younger than five love it and learn from it, too!

Everyone who wants to play sits together on a couch or wherever you decide is home base.  Take turns telling each other what to find, to touch and count before coming back to  home base.  Start with just one thing so it is easy to remember and so everyone learns the game.  DISPLAY THE NUMBER 1 COUNTING CARD.  Now, Player 1 tells Player 2:  FIND A CHAIR.  So, Player 2 gets up, finds and touches a chair, counts "1" (counting loudly makes it more fun!) and then comes back to sit down.  Now Player 2 tells Player 3: FIND A STUFFED ANIMAL.  After everyone gets the idea and has success, make it more challenging by adding a item.  DISPLAY THE NUMBER 2 COUNTING CARD.  Now, Player 1 tells Player 2, FIND A WINDOW AND A PILLOW.  So,. Player 2 has to find and touch and count "1" for the window and then find and touch and count "2" for the pillow and then come back and sit down.  Have fun and create lots of ways to use this game.

YOU CAN COUNT ON IT!   A day filled with seeing numbers, hearing numbers, experiencing the ideas of numbers will always make for easy sharing times in your family.  Before you go to bed on a busy COUNTING DAY, make up a good COUNTING SONG to put everyone to sleep!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for putting all your ideas together on this blog! My friend Emmeline Hall directed me here. I am a stay-at-home mom, and I do preschool at home with my kids rather than sending them away from me to school. I will definitely check your blog often as a great resource! I especially appreciate the book lists by topic. I had been currently just going to my library website or to Amazon and searching by topic (and then borrowing them from the library), but it's nice to have a list that has been recommended by a librarian for this age! And I appreciate the action rhymes because I am not good at those myself, but the kids like them, so I need all the help I can get in that area!