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For us as adults recognising that dots in a row is 3 on a die, or the fact that a square shape of dots with a dot in the centre is 5 is easy it’s something that we just know from playing board games, domino’s and arrangements of patterns when we were in school. For our little ones it’s something that together with counting and number recognition of the words and numerals it’s the 3rd spoke of the wheel on numbers. Today the #TeachECE theme is Numbers 1 to 5 so we’re working on recognising those number patterns as well as numbers.

Although we’ve done this activity indoors I’ve provided an alternative suggestion for doing the same activity outside and on a larger scale great for getting those little bodies moving around and learning at the same time.

## Learning Objectives

- Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0–5
- Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 10 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 5 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–10, count out that many objects.

## Materials Needed

5 Wooden Circles from Spielgaben set 9

15 Dots or beads from Spielgaben set 10

Large sheet of Paper

Marker

## Preparation

Write the numbers 1 to 5 on the large sheet of paper giving lots of space between them

Set up each of the circles with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 dots or beads in as you would see on a dice

Place the circles with dots in randomly around the paper

## How Many? 0 to 5 number pattern recognition

We started off with looking at the numbers that I had written on the paper – going through the numbers in random order first and then in numerical order.

Once I was certain that she knew the placement of each of the numbers we then looked at the patterns.

I said “Find me the circle with 1 in?”, “Which circle has 2 dots in?”, then asked her to point to another circle and I asked her “How many dots is there – without counting!”.

It was interesting 1, 2 and 3 she was great on 4 and 5 caused some problems. We then looked just at those two, talking about the similarities – the dots made a square shape, and the differences one had a dot in the centre, different coloured dots.

We then moved each of the circle in numerical order over to the correct number. Dragging it across the sheet of paper and positioning it on top.

## Adapting for outdoors

Yes as promised this is my plan – materials needed a Hula Hoop [affiliate link], some Ball Pit Balls [affiliate link] and the numbers 1 to 5 from a Numbers Mat [affiliate link].

Position the numbers around the garden similar to how we did on our number activity here and then inside the hula hoop place the balls in the same arrangement as we did with the circles. You can use 1 hula hoop and after the hoop has moved swap them out and change up the number pattern. Or if you have 5 hula hoops and at least 15 balls then set them up and get the children to drag them to the correct numbers as well.

## More counting activities from the #TeachECE team

Establishing REAL RELATIONSHIPS with NUMBERS in Preschool! by The Preschool Toolbox Blog

Gross Motor Number Line by Still Playing School

How many gems am I holding? Pre-K and Kinder Guessing Game From 0 to 5 by Capri + 3

How Many? 0 to 5 Number Pattern Recognition by Rainy Day Mum

Free Counting to 5 Game: Construction Theme by Life Over C’s

0-5 Number Games with Dry Erase Apple Cards by Tiny Tots Adventures

I Spy Activity by Munchkins and Moms

Learning Numbers on Alphabet Road by Mom Inspired Life

Counting Cars Numbers 0-5 Book by Learning 2 Walk

Segmenting Words: Clap Counting by Growing Book by Book

Paper Bag Number Book by The Eduators’ Spin On It

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Amanda says

What fun math materials. I like how the circles give the numbered objects a contained space to count how many.

Theresa says

That is such a great visual recognition counting activity! I had never heard of the Spielgaben sets before seeing your posts that use them. Now, I want some!

Danielle says

Love the manipulatives! I’m trying to think of other things we can use to do this too!

Alecia says

Wow I had no idea that the Spielgaben set was so diverse. Those manipultives are so appelaing and although we don’t have that set, this is an activity I think my son would love.

The Preschool Toolbox says

Love the Spielgaben sets! Great activity for subitizing small groups of items! I hadn’t thought of the hula hoop, but we’ll be trying that this fall!

Jodie @ Growing Book by Book says

Those wooden manipulative sets are gorgeous. I love that this is a hands-on way to practice!

Clarissa says

So jealous of these awesome pieces! I love your idea for extending the activity outdoors, though!

Natasha says

I love that set. So many ways that you can use it and i love the how you used the circles to contain the dots.