Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homemade Number Boards for Toddlers and Preschoolers

I took some craft foam sheets I had and created these “boards”.  We play with them occasionally to keep our numbers in our head and not lose them over the summer break. 
All I did was draw little circles with markers on the sheets and the corresponding number. 
I bought some decorative glass stones at the dollar store.  They work great because the backs are flat.  I have seen a lot of these kinds of activities all over the internet in different ways, so I don’t really know who to send some credit out to. 
I did one large sheet like a bar graph from 1 to 10.
I also did smaller rectangles with individual numbers on them. 
While Charley is sleeping, Cole and Little Man have been playing with these.  It is great for Cole to reinforce his numbers and get him acquainted with charts and graphs.  It is great for Little Man to work on his pincher grasp (something he cannot do very well) and hand-eye coordination.  When guided he tries to put the stone in the circle.
When left to just explore, Little Man will just place as many as he can on one small sheet.  He also liked to stack the small sheets up.
This is a great activity for these kids at different levels to do.  I just had to watch Little Man very closely because he kept trying to put the glass stones in his mouth.  The stones did provide a great sensory experience, though.  They have a smooth feel, are hard, and are cool to the touch.  Little Man loved this activity and we have done it over and over again. 


  1. I have a bunch of extra foam sheets and was trying to come up with a way to use them - this would be awesome. I could even keep them in the centers without worry that they will get torn up. Much cheaper than printing and laminating too!

  2. Wow, I love this! I would have never thought to do that and it would be perfect for Sprout.

    I like the shot of the foam rectangles stacked up...very artistic! :-)

  3. Love this idea!! Thanks for sharing!! I'm going to try it soon.

  4. Great activity! My kids love those little glass stones. And this is a good way to teach numbers with being "hands-on" at the same time. I especially like the small sheets with individual numbers you made.

  5. This is great. How old is Little Man? I wonder if my just-turned-two year old would like this.

  6. Kim,

    What a smart project! I have those exact beads and I made a number "grid" by folding a paper into boxes ( 6 or 10 depending upon whether I am working with my 3 or 5 year old). I write a number in each box and then they have to count out the correct number of stones to correspond to the number. I like that you provided the circles to encourage 1 to 1 correspondence. How lucky Little Man is to have you...what a difference you will make in his life.

  7. How easy! We will definitely be doing this :)

  8. I love the number board idea! I can think of lots of things we could use for counting with this. Thanks! :)

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