In this activity, your child will play a game to practice counting up to 10 items and understand that the last number she says tells how many items were counted. She will also be strengthening small muscle control in her hands and fingers as she uses tongs to pick up items being counted.
Say to the child, “We are going to play a game. Let’s see how many items we can move with these tongs from the bowl to a space in the egg carton without dropping any.”
Demonstrate for your child by picking up an item with the tongs and moving it to a space in the egg carton tray. Then encourage your child to try.
After she places a few items into the egg carton spaces, ask her, “How many do we have in the egg carton now?” If your child counts each item and then stops (e.g., “One, two, three”), you can model for her that the last number she counts is the total number of items. For example, “Yes, you counted three blocks. That means there are three blocks in the egg carton! So how many are there?” Encourage your child to repeat just the total number rather than counting from one again.
If your child counts incorrectly, help her to count the items in the egg carton one by one with you. Then encourage your child to continue moving the rest of the items with the tongs into the carton, and have her count them again and identify the total number when she has done them all.