Math Experience: Numbers Fish Bowl

We love felt at our house; it is multifunctional and inexpensive!

Even if you don’t want to go all in and make an entire felt board, you can still do a lot of fun activities with just a few pieces of felt.  Today, I pulled out a felt activity I made for my son when he was a toddler that focuses on number sense and counting. 

Toddlerhood is a time when little ones begin to show some interest in numbers.  They begin to understand that numbers have meaning and if exposed to it they may even start using number words in their play. 

By preschool age, most children show signs of counting and by kindergarten are able to count to 20.  See the Ohio Early Learning Standards (or Google your own state) if you are curious about what kindergarten readiness skills you can focus on with your child. 

For the numbers fish bowl, you will need one large felt fish bowl and 20 little felt fish. Fish are very easy to cut out.  No craft experience needed here!  After the fish are cut out, just label them with a Sharpie.  

Our fish bowl.  Felt sticks to felt, so the fish will stick right to the fish bowl!

And here is my toddler getting  started. Today, we started with only the first ten fish, as twenty is overwhelming for a toddler-aged child.  Feel free to only use five fish for a toddler or to do all twenty at once if you are working with a preschooler or kindergartner!

Start by spreading out all the fish, number side up.  Then ask your child to find the number one for you, then the two, then the three, the whole way to ten. Once they find it, have them put it in the fish bowl.  The fish need the water to survive so the faster the better! šŸ˜‰

If your child doesn’t know the number, you can have then take a few guesses or you can even give them a color hint. 

She is pretty proud of herself for finding the four!

My preschooler couldn’t help joining in the fun, which is why we ended up going the whole way to twenty!

After all fish are in their bowl, time to count all the fish again!

This video is our second time through the numbers, so you can see the kids losing focus.  In future posts, I will have to think to video the first time around.  šŸ˜‚

There are so many enrichment activities to do with the numbers fish bowl that the possibilities are endless!  Let me know if you have any fun variations to this game!

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