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A few months back, while I was still really into the Montessori method of teaching concrete numbers, I read some blogs about using color chips for young children in learning numbers. I was intrigued.
Then I ordered this set of transparent color counting chips from Amazon, after looking at its pretty good reviews. Was a bit skeptical at first, since it just came in a plain plastic packaging.
But then once I opened it, the kids were so excited to play with them!
They arranged the chips in colors, stacked them up, made a rainbow-color “train”, got the truck toy to load/unload them, or they picked one and looked through the chip exclaiming “Woww everything looks purpleee!”
I could see many many possibilities they can do with them. This time I was doing some counting with my little one.
Activity: Counting Activities for Preschoolers with Counting Chips
Recommended age group: 3-6 years old
- Blank papers ( I taped 3 pieces of A4 papers on the floor)
- Color markers/color pencils/crayons etc
- Counters/counting chips. I used this transparent color counting chips. You can use other small objects, I shared some alternative materials below. Remember to choose the appropriate size that your child can safely use and can pick up easily.
Preparation time required: 5-10 minutes
Learning objectives: Grouping by colors, number recognition, counting to 10.
How to play
1. Prepare the “containers” to group the counting chips for different quantities AND colors. Basically I drew some color ponds on paper. Put a number on each circle (or the pond, since it’s not always a circle, lol!).
2. Then ask the child to put the matching color chips in the pond, according to the written number.
Miss U insisted that she could be a big helper, and did me a favor in cutting & sticking the masking tape to hold the papers on the floor. And she also wanted to draw the circles. Yay!
3. Read aloud all the numbers, making sure all are in the correct order, and prepare the rainbow color chips! Tough works! ;p
4. Then put the counting chip one by one, into each pond with the same color as the chip. Do this while counting from one, until we reached the correct number.
Yeah, mommy said she could choose whichever color to start first. And she chose purple.
Adding further learning option
You can write the number in words if you child already start reading (or recognizing the number words).
For younger kids, instead of counting, you can do shape recognition & building. You can make shapes with certain color of chips and asked the child to say the name of the color & shape. For example, make a red square, or green triangle, and so on.
For older kids, you can modify this into addition, or try number bonds instead!
Instead of drawing on papers, you can easily put them in containers like plastic cups or paper plate like my past activities here.
When you have more than one kids to play
You can ask them taking turn to put the chips in the pond, or make two sets of the drawings. Even as simple as arranging the color chips into something is still exciting for my 6 years old girl.
She decided to finish the game for her little sis!
And if you need more inspirations for preK math activities, check out my other posts about preschool math ideas here!
What else do you like to use in your counting activities with your child?