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This a simple game that your child will ask to play again and again. The great thing about it is that it can be used not only for learning quantity and numbers, but also for beginning addition.

Children especially like the fact that it uses money; they feel as if they’ve fallen into quite a windfall of money!


- 6 sheets of red cardboard (standard size)

- 45 pennies, plus a small container to store them in

Make the Game:

1) Cut 5 of the sheets of cardboard in half. You’ll have ten half-sheets.

2) On each one, write a number (0-9). The number should fill only about half to two-thirds of the sheet.

3) Underneath each number, draw the number of circles represented by each number. So the number 1 has one circle, 2 has two circles, and so on. Leave the number zero empty. Use a penny as a stencil for drawing the circles. (In the picture above the circles are colored red – that’s optional).

4) Now cut the last sheet of cardboard in half length-wise.

5) Now write the numbers 0-9 from left to right. Your child will use this to help him lay out the numbers in order on his own.

How to Play:

1) Place the card with the zero down in front of your child. Say, ‘this is zero,” and point to the zero.

2) Now take the card with the number one, and lay it to the right of the zero card. Say, “this is one.” Now take out one penny, place it in your child’s palm, saying “one” as you do so.

3) Show them where to place the penny on the card. Have them say “one” as they place the money on the circle.

4) For the first session, do up until number 2. Every two days or so you can add on a new number. At the start of each session, review the names of the numbers.

5) After you’ve reviewed the numbers for a few days, ask your child to show you “the 2 (or a different number). This is easier for your child than pointing to a number and asking them to tell you what the number is; you’ll do this only after your child can successfully point to the number you name.

6) In a few weeks, your child will have learned:

  • one-on-one correspondence (one circle gets one penny)
  • how to count consecutively
  • a number represents a particular quantity (the number 2 represents two items).
  • to recognize and name numbers

all in one game!


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