Learning to count is a key math skill. But taking the next step, being able to connect numbers with their names, can be difficult for preschoolers. For example, a child might be able to count to five by rote, but unable to count out five objects-- connecting the numbers to the items. Rather than just counting fingers with your child, try using this interactive number line as an enjoyable, life-sized teaching aid.
With this activity, you can easily build on the numbers your child has learned and even introduce new numbers. When your child physically moves a certain number of steps between the numbers on the number line, she is making a mental bridge to a specific number. Before you know it she'll have mastered her numbers.
What You Do:
- Help your child set the rope out in a long, straight line.
- Using the marker, help your child to create number sheets by writing large numerals 1-20 on the pieces of paper.
- Starting with the smallest number, set up the sheets in numerical order along the rope, placing them face down so that the numbers are hidden.
- Depending on the concept you are trying to teach your child, you might want to leave out certain numbers. Maybe you only want to focus on odd, or maybe only even numbers. You might want to only feature multiple of 5 and have your child walk 5 steps between each number. There are many possibilities.
- Encourage your child to start walking along the rope.
- Every time she comes to a face down sheet, have her flip it over, call out the number on the sheet, and then turn the sheet back over so the number is once again hidden.
- Have her walk up and down the line to get a firm hold on her numbers.
Once she's comfortable with the original numbers, you can make even more number sheets. If you think your kid's up for a challenge, this number line is also a great way to introduce addition and subtraction.