Have you started working with your Lil’s on numbers? How is it going? Most of us start with teaching them rote counting (memorizing numbers without understanding their values) and while I am completely over the moon when my Lil’ says 1…2…3 instead of 1…2…10, I also know that the ability to count in sequence does not mean my Lil’ understands her numbers. In teaching, we talk about one to one correspondence when we are teaching numbers. This means that your Lil’ understands the word “one” and the numeral 1 represent the value of 1.  

Here at the Sandbox, we will focus on one-to-one correspondence because when your child masters that, the rote counting will come naturally.

Lil’ Explorers grab your FREE dough mats HERE!

Lil’ Creators grab your FREE dough mats HERE!

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills

Algebraic Thinking

  • Count from 0-10 (1-4)
  • Understand values of numbers 0-10 (1-4)

Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordinate the use of arms, hands, and fingers together to manipulate objects with increasing accuracy

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills

Algebraic Thinking

  • Count from 0-20 (1-8)
  • Understand values of numbers 0-20 (1-8)

Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordinate the use of hands, wrists, and fingers to complete tasks that require more precise movements

Lil' Explorers Dough Mats

Lil' Creators Dough Mats

Play Doh

Just like when learning letters, our Lil’ Explorers and Lil’ Creators will be going at a difference pace and they will do this activity four times this month, each time focusing on new numbers.

Lil’ Explorers

June 6 – Focus on number 1

June 13 – Focus on number 2

June 21 – Focus on number 3

June 27 – Focus on number 4

Lil’ Creators

June 6 – Focus on numbers 1 & 2

June 14 – Focus on numbers 3 & 4

June 21 – Focus on numbers 5 & 6

June 28 – Focus on numbers 7 & 8

Step #1

Have your Lil’ trace over the number with his finger

Step #2

Use Play Doh to fill in the number

Step #3

In the planter, plant Play Doh flowers

Step #4

Fill in the ten frame with Play Doh balls to represent the number

Teacher Tip

These do work best if you laminate your pages to make them more traditional “mats,” but you can totally get away with using plain ol’ printer paper. If you do laminate them you can use dry erase markers instead of Play Doh.


Let us know what you think and share pictures of your Lil’ working on their numbers.