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Language and Communication Counts to 3  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Counts to 3 correctly

Early years skill:Numbers
Early years typical range:22-36m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:Maths Number and Algebra
P-scales/Curriculum level:P6
TAP skill:Language (old categories)
TAP level:TAP36
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Matching 1, 2, 3, objects to pictures representing 1, 2, 3, objects

Large laminated cards with the number 1 and one black square and the number 2 and 2 black squares etc (large number cards - Word document);

Sets of objects e.g. pens, cars, bricks;

Tidy up bag/box.

  1. Put out the number cards with 1, 2, 3 on them, and match objects to the numbers;
  2. Count the objects onto the cards, count the objects off the cards and into a box or bag;
  3. Make towers of 1, 2, 3, bricks counting as you go. Give the instruction 'Knock down 3 bricks' etc.

Give lots and lots of chances to practice this skill.

Use the number cards until the child is able to count to 3 most of the time to ensure feelings of success.

Give a model if the child struggles and reward attempts as well as success with praise.

Fun games

Marble run or garage and car run or magnetic fishing game;

1, 2, 3, cards.

  1. Turn the number cards face down and take turns to select one. If the card says '2' that person has 2 cars/marbles/items to fish for, or 2 cars to push down the slope etc.;
  2. As the cars/marbles fished items are used count them out.
Drawings of faces

Colouring pens;


  1. Draw a round face;
  2. Ask the child to draw 2 eyes, 1 mouth, 3 teeth etc.

See if the child can tell you how many things to draw. You could give them a choice, for example, should I draw 1, 2 or 3 spots?

Monster faces

Colouring pens;


  1. Draw a monster head and ask the child to give the monster 3 eyes, 2 noses etc.;
  2. Provide a model if the child needs to copy to start with.
  3. Count the number of eyes and arms etc.

Soft toys.

  1. Ask the child how many stickers they want 1, 2, 3?
  2. Ask for a number of stickers yourself. Can the child get it right?
  3. Say teddy/the dragon want a certain number of stickers. Can the child hand them out?
Count things in the everyday environment

Count up to 3 things in the environment e.g. people on a bench, fish fingers on a plate, coats on a hook etc.

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