Can your child spot and identify numbers one through 10? This is an important bit of knowledge to pick up before kindergarten. Familiarity with these numbers helps your little one develop number sense and feel confident around math.
During the day at preschool and kindergarten, your child does activities to build number recognition and practice counting. But there are lots of ways to sharpen these skills at home, too. One of our favorites is this easy and fun craft sticky memory game, which helps your child see, count, and match numbers. (Workbooks like Numbers & Concepts can also be a fun way to introduce number identification.)
How to Make and Play Craft Stick Memory
1. Create the craft stick game pieces.
You'll need 20 crafts sticks.
Take 10 craft sticks and write the numbers 1-10 on each stick. Then, take 10 more craft sticks and make matching game pieces by drawing symbols on each stick. For example, choose a unique symbol to represent "1," and draw one of it. Choose a unique symbol to represent "two," and draw two of them. And so on.
You can also use stickers or glue pictures to make the pieces.
2. Set the game up.
Mix up the 20 craft sticks and place each stick facedown in rows of five.
3. Play the game.
The goal is to turn over a number craft stick and find the matching symbol craft stick. Player number one turns over two craft sticks. If they match, he gets to keep the two craft sticks. If they do not match, he turns them back over and player number two gets to take a turn.
As you play, encourage your preschoolers to focus on seeing and recognizing numbers, counting pictures, and matching numbers with pictures.
4. Play until all sticks are matched up.
The winner is the player with the most craft sticks!
When your child gets the hang of it and is ready to start writing numbers, a wipe-clean board book may be the next right step.