Looking for inspiration to encourage your kids to count outside while they’re playing? Check out these great ideas!
Count outside with these ideas!
1. One to one correspondence
- Number counting from Tutus & Tea Parties. A great precursor for learning to count, draw a circle for each number of objects needed so it’s managable for children who are new to counting.
2. Pool noodles & paper plates
- Pool noodle abacus from Happy Hooligans. Cut up pool noodles and string them up somewhere for the kids to play with.
- Fence counting string from Adventures of Adam. Similar to above but using a beaded skipping rope.
- Outdoor number order sort from The Preschool Toolbox. Clip numbers onto a line. Can the kids put them in the right order?
- Life sized game board from Coffee Cups and Crayons. Number lots of paper plates and stretch them out across the yard so they make a game board and the kids can be the counters!
- Math games with nature from Where Imagination Grows. Draw a square and add a number. Ask the kids to find the correct number of objects to add to each square. You can draw a really big square for really large numbers if you like!
- Dandelion counting race from Hands On As We Grow. Jamie cleared up all the dandelions from her yard by getting the kids to pull them out, then race to line them up in a numbered grid. Clever!
- Count to 10 Forest School from Rain or Shine Mama. She talks about different ways to learn outside.
- Number hunt from Mess for Less. Write numbers on craft sticks and hide them outside. The more they’re spread out, the more the kids will have to move around!
- Number detectives from I Can Teach My Child. Write numbers on the pavement with chalk, give a child a number and have them look for the right one. They can ‘catch it’ with a hoop then spray the number away with a water squirter!
- Find and count bugs from No Time for Flashcards.
5. Tally marks and groups
- Counting and grouping with sticks from Learn with Play at Home. This post shows how to do this in great detail with lots of photos!
- Teach tally marks from The Educators Spin On It. Using sticks outside is a natural way to learn about tally marks.
- Jumping maze from Math Geek Mama. Grab the chalk and write numbers in a pattern for your child to jump and count.
- Counting maze from Hands On As We Grow. Similar to above but there’s a great explanation for laying it out.
- Puddle jump from Nurture Store. Cut blue construction paper into little puddles and number them. Then kids need to jump from puddle to puddle in the correct order.
- Numbered rocks from Fun-A-Day. A simple tool for taking math lessons outside.
- Pirate maths from Creative Star Learning. Uses naturally spotted leaves for counting practice.
- Counting action dice from Buggy and Buddy. Take this DIY action die and regular dice outside for some counting and movement.
- Free and affordable math manipulatives from Stir the Wonder. This isn’t a counting post, but has a nice list of ideas of objects you can use as manipulatives! Handy to grab and take outside.
8. Cars & Games
- Car racing counting game from Frugal Fun 4 Boys. Make a simple race track from card, grab the cars and dice and you’re ready to go!
- Outdoor math activities from Preschool Express. There are a number of different counting ideas here such as a pretend DIY fishpond for ‘catching’ fish.
- Mr Wolf, what time is it? from The Measured Mom. Anna has quite a few ideas here. Skim down the page to find this old favourite.
9. Chalk drawing
- Chalk counting garden from Fantastic Fun and Learning. Simply draw some numbered circles and then let the kids create the right number of petals and design a garden.
- Number line run from Coffee Cups and Crayons. Draw a numbered line and you’re ready to go.
10. Make some art
- 20 something maths pictures from Creative Star Learning. In this activity groups of children had to count out 20 of an object and then supplement that with found materials to create an artwork.
Looking for more ways to count outside?
Pop over to 10+ Ways to Count and Move.
Want to see more counting roundup posts?
- 10+ Ways to Count and Move
- 10+ Ways to Count with Play Dough
- 10+ Ways to Count with Fine Motor Skills
- 10+ Ways to Count with Snacks
- 10+ Ways to Count with Storybooks
- 10+ Ways to Count with Clothespins
- 10+ Ways to Count with Board Games
Looking for more counting activities?
Pop over to my TpT store for more counting products: within 5, within 20, within 100 and introducing number lines 0-10.