By Michael Hartley
If you need some counting worksheets to help some kindergarten kids learn to count, this page has what you are looking for. Counting worksheets may not exactly be math games, but with the right atmosphere of love and encouragement, your kindergarten kid will enjoy them almost as much.
I've uploaded several counting worksheets here on this page. Each has several items that look like the picture shown just above. Here's a suggestion how you might use them.
- Choose the worksheet that's appropriate for the kid. There are worksheets here to practice counting up to 3, counting up to 6 or counting up to 10.
- Show the child how to count the stars (or call them snowflakes, or biscuits... whatever you think will best catch his or her imagination)
- Show the child how to draw lines to the correct number of stars. The result will be something like what you see in the picture above.
- Watch carefully as the kid does a few by him or herself.
The reason to watch is so that you can identify bad counting habits in the child and correct them. It's no use just saying "right" or "wrong"! Some possible bad habits (at kindergarten age) include
- Numbers in the wrong order, for example, the child might count "one, two, three, four, eight, five, four, eight, five..." If the child regularly follows four by eight, it means these numbers are associated in his or her mind. It will help if you encourage the kid to repeat "three, four, five" with you several times. Keep doing this for a few days until the old association is broken and the (correct) new one formed.
- Counting is not 'in sync' with pointing to the things being counted, for example, the child counts "one, two, three, four, five" quickly, but only points to three stars. To solve this problem, explain that they should only say a number when they point at a star (or whatever else is being counted). If necessary, show them. And count slowly! It needs to be very clear that you are pointing to each star exactly once - lift your finger off the page between each star, and say the numbers very clearly and slowly. It'll help a lot if you act excited when you finish counting, just like The Count on Sesame Street. Counting should be fun!
- Some stars are counted more than once, or not at all. The child will understand when you explain this error. For example, say "no, you pointed to this star twice!". Show the child how to start counting from one end of the line of stars, and steadily move across. My four-year-old went through a phase where he had to draw a pencil mark next to each star, so as to avoid this error. You could encourage your kids to do the same. He quickly (that is, within a month) got the hang of it, and abandoned the pencil. Now he's counting like a pro!
Once the child is reasonably confident, he or she can be left to enjoy the worksheets alone. Just pop in from time to time, to offer encouragement and congratulations, or, if needed, a little gentle correction.
Counting should be fun! And these counting worksheets, if used wisely, can help to make it so.