This activity involves balls, throwing, being outside, and numbers! What could be more fun for a little kid than that?!
Our goal this morning was to focus on Preschool Standard #1: Number Sense and Operations, Benchmark #5: Recognize and name numerals from 1-5. I also threw in zero because it is fun to say and my little guy likes it.
(The preschool standards I use come from this great book by Corwin Press called Play, Projects, and Preschool Standards: Nurturing Children’s Sense of Wonder and Joy in Learning. They are just example standards and are easy for me to access. The NCTM also has preschool standards through grade 2 you can access here.)
Materials Needed: Paper plates, black marker, painters tape, and a variety of balls.
1. Write numbers 0-5 on the front of paper plates.
2. Tape the paper plates in order outside somewhere. We used our fence.
3. Give your little one a ball (or two or three) and challenge them to hit the number targets.
The first time we played, my son hit the numbers backwards, starting with 5. This is an easy way to work on another preschool benchmark (counting backwards from 5 verbally).
4. As the target fell, I encouraged my son to go and say the number he’d just hit.
I also would ask him (before he threw the ball each time), “Which number are you going to hit next?” and he would tell me. I would reiterate the number as he was throwing (or afterwards) to reinforce what he had just said, saying, “Wow! You just hit number 5!” (or something like that).
5. Once all the numbers were on the ground, we said all the numbers that we saw and then we picked them up and played again!
This activity is also great because it helps develop gross motor skills and hand/eye coordination!