As an English Major and book lover, it’s difficult for me to naturally emphasize number activities for preschoolers throughout our day. I prefer books, reading, and alphabet activities. Keeping that in mind, I intentionally planned a couple different number and math-focused activities for us to do throughout our week as we study the ocean.
Focusing on math for today didn’t stop us from reading all about the ocean!. I compiled a list of 15 books we are using for our ocean themed week. along with links and why they work for our family. I’d love if you have more to add to the list! Check out the post here.
Let’s go fishing for numbers
This number activity for preschoolers is simple, and my two kids loved it. It’s an easy one to scale up or down, depending on the age of your child. I’ll take you through how to set it up, and then give you a couple of ideas for scaling it.
First, simply print these fish on cardstock.
Audra and I spent a little while coloring them (remember, it’s her favorite thing to do together). If you don’t want to spend the time coloring them, then don’t! That’s okay! Or, you could have your child paint them- that would probably take less time.
I laminated mine (again, totally not necessary) but I wanted to be able to use dry erase marker to erase the numbers and reuse the fish. You could use a white sticker, or even white out if you wanted to reuse your fish for different numbers.
Using a dry erase marker, I wrote the numbers 1-10 on the back of the fish.
Then I attached a paperclip to each one and placed them on the floor.
Using a fishing pole (string + stick + magnet) I had my kids use a laundry basket as the boat and catch the fish! They collected them in a little toolbox they used as their tackle box (so the fish wouldn’t get away).
Results of our Fishing for Numbers Activity
After catching all the fish, I asked my daughter to put them in order from 1-10. She did it with no problems.
For my son’s turn, I just asked him what the numbers were as he caught the fish. This was a challenge for him not only from a number recognition standpoint but also for his fine motor skills. He worked very hard to catch those fish AND stay in the basket.
For Audra’s second turn, I numbered the fish 11-20 and again asked her to put them in order. This was a little more difficult for her to do, and my husband had to work with her. She’s getting it though, and now I know we need to work on letter recognition for numbers 11-20.
This number activity was a big hit with our preschoolers, and it’s one we will continue to do all week.
If you would like the free printable for this fun number activity for preschoolers, you can download it here.