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You will need:

number cards 0-6

7 pegs

string to make a pretend washing line

glove puppet or teddy

7 paper plates

Warm Up Activity - Singing a Counting Rhyme

Sing or recite ʻFive Little Ducksʼ. Say the rhyme together and encourage your child to show the number of ducks on their fingers as they sing.


We have  included a video version in case you aren't too familiar with the song! There are a number of different versions of this song with the ducks swimming over a lake, going over a hill etc please sing and enjoy the version you are most familiar with! The important thing is that your child practises counting forwards and backwards to 5 in a fun and enjoyable way. 

Five Little Ducks

Counting Along a 0-6 Number Track

Practise counting to 6 and then on to 10, using fingers.

Show your child the pegged number line with the numbers 0-6 in order. Unpeg each number and muddle the number cards up. 

Lay the number cards out in front of your child.

Point to the first empty peg and ask, Which number goes here? What is the first number we say when counting?

Agree that it is 0. (Please make sure your child is saying zero and not the name of the letter O)

Ask your chid to peg the number 0 card on the line and they can hold up their hand with zero fingers showing.

Point to the second peg and repeat so that a child pegs the number 1 in place and they hold up one finger.

Repeat until all the number cards are pegged in order again.

Show the glove puppet or pet toy and say, Naughty Pet is going to steal one of our numbers! Now ask your child to cover their eyes. Remove a number from the line and hide it. Ask, Which number has Naughty Pet taken? Ask your child to suggest which number is missing, then count along the line together to establish which number is missing. Naughty Pet then has to hand it back!

Replace the missing number card and repeat the activity.


Remember you can reduce or extend the quantity of number cards you are using to match the ability level of your child.

Counting items in a set

Lay out seven paper plates on the table. Place a number card 0−6 on each plate.

Ask your child to choose a plate and go and find that number of things from the room you are working in (alternatively you could have a box of smaller items on the table ready for them to choose from.) 

You then choose a plate and together with your child go to a different room in the house and find that number of things to put on the paper plate.

(Young children aren't meant to stay perfectly still. They need to move so getting up and going to different rooms in the house to look for items will help them maintain focus and make the task more enjoyable.)

Repeat each time going to a different rom in the house to look for items until you have completed all the paper plates.

Challenge your child to line up the plates in order along the table, 0 to 6.

... then challenge your child to return all the items to the correct place in the correct room!!!