Counting to 10 and learning to count out objects are very different skills - counting to 10 is a language skill learned by repetition, counting out objects - so linking the language to the notion that it's a value is harder for kids to grasp. Simple maths games can help your toddlers and preschoolers count out objects to gain this starting number skill. So here you go a simple spring maths activity with frogs for toddlers and preschoolers.
Spring Counting Game with Frogs
Having been inspired by the frogs in the pond and raising tadpoles on our nature table this frog game is perfect for including in a spring theme or frog and pond theme.
It's working on counting out objects - the frogs as they jump into the pond from the speckled log (yes it's inspired by the rhyme) and then counting 1 on to predict what happens when one more jumps in.
We worked on objects to 5, but you can of course use more frogs to jump into the pond as you increase counting out more objects with your little ones.
It's a simple DIY set up and I found that it was a game that the kids loved so we added it to our nature table so that they could play with it as they wanted. It's great to see them counting out the frogs and singing along with the rhyme as they do.
Materials for Frog Counting Game
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- small and 1 large toy frogs - we have a set of these ones that are the smaller ones shown above and a set with the bigger ones like this one
- Brown, green and blue paper - this pack of paper is what we tend to buy
- Brown Marker Pen
- Dice - we have a set of large wooden dice that are great for using with younger kids as you know they are very unlikely to put them in their mouths.
Setting up the frog math game
- Cut out a pond shapre from a piece of blue paper.
- With the green paper cut out some lilly pads as no pond is complete without them.
- Using brown paper cut out a log shape and add in some details with a marker pen.
- Finally site you 6 frogs on the log and invite your child to start to play.
Why not check out some of the other frog activities and ideas to combine with this game too!
Playing the Frog Counting Game
Using a large dice like the one we have linked to Amazon above is really good for toddlers and preschoolers. The dots are easy to see and there is enough space for them to point to the number on the die to count out and then match the objects with.
It also helps with them learning to count objects in different arrangements e.g. Subitising
Set up the pond as above and sit down together - you could start of by singing a frog song e.g. "Five Little Speckled Frogs" perfect for some counting fun as well and then start the game.
Throw the dice and then help your child to count the number of spots on the dice - unlike us young children don't recognise the pattern of dots corresponding with a number but the skill is quickly learnt the more games that you play together that use dice. Reinforce them at first by counting out the dots each time.
Then help your child to count the number of frogs into the pond - make it fun by making big splash sounds as you go.
If your child is great with counting 1 - 6 then how about using two dice use more frogs. Then throw one dice, then the other either count directly the number of dots or help your children to learn number bonds to 12 by adding the numbers together.
Whilst you are playing the game you can introduce the concepts of subtraction - "If 3 frogs jump into the pond how many frogs from the 6 on the log do we have left".
Some Frog Themed Books to Read
We love to complete a learning activity or theme and sit down to read together afterwards as well as provide some books in a basket for our preschoolers to explore at their will. Here are our top 4 picks, you can find all of our recommended frog picture books for toddlers and preschoolers here.
- Teeny Weeny Tadpole Book and CD
- The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner
- A frog's Life by Irene Kelly
- And the Bullfrog Sings: A Life Cycle Begins by David L Harrison
Frog Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Make a frog pond sensory bin for extended play
- Play a memory game and learn about the frog lifecycle
- Make a set of frog puppets that you can then use to sing some frog rhymes and songs with.