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Counting Sheep...


... or indeed any kind of farm animal!  In Nursery we try to practise counting sets of objects every day.  It is important to check your child is pointing to each object at the same time as they are saying the numbers (one-to-one correspondence). 

You might need to show your child strategies for accurate counting - how to line up the objects or how to move them to a different pile as they are counted, to prevent an object being counted twice. 

Make sure you are including zero.  You may obviously have to model the concept of zero meaning none.


Deliveries Activity

As you create your farm together you could use a box, or toy lorry if you have one, to deliver animals, feed and resources (twigs or stones).

Ask your child to count how many of each resource you deliver and tell you how many there is in a set.

You can extend the game by helping them to keep an 'inventory' - encourage your child to either mark make (like a tally), draw pictures or overwrite to record the corresponding number.

Deliver one of the set late.  If they already know they have 5 sheep can your child tell you that by adding one more they will have 6?  Help them to count to check their answer, or to find out if they are not sure.  

Similarly, make one animal hide. Support your child in finding out that, for example, if they had 4 hens and one has gone they now have 3. 

Understanding of one more and one less within ten will happen with practice.

Counting Farm Animals Sheets (optional)

Counting and number writing are always best when undertaken as part of a meaningful context. These sheets do not have to be used but we have included them as you might like to do some extra counting and number formation practise with your child.

Numberblocks (optional)

This episode of Numberblocks is all about understanding that the final number you say when counting a set is the total.