Know any counting games?

How many hens can you see? Tempted to launch into song: "!, 2, 3, 4, 5"?

This blog is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. For more info about my book Homemade Kids click here 

Walking home from school I met a preschooler on her scooter playing a counting game with her mum. It’d be nice to know a few more counting games, so if there is one your family loves, please share it here…

Thumb war (2 players or more)
All say: “1, 2, 3, 4, I declare thumb war” and then quickly shoot out your thumb, perhaps as a thumbs up rather than a thumb gun. Winning isn’t really the point – this game is a time occupier!

Calming down a large group of kids: 3-2-1
Adult in charge says 3, kids clap three times. Adult says 2, kids clap two times. Adult says 1, kids clap one time. Then there should be silence so you can relaunch your instructions/activity/hide and seek game or whatever you are doing.

Favourite chant
I’m a talentless singer – and I blame my mum. She said she was a terrible singer, so never sang. But the moment I had a baby, or even now when I’m holding a baby, it feels completely instinctive to start singing. It must be easier to learn if you are force-fed rhythms and words. As a result I chanted nursery rhymes at all hours of the day (mostly when adults weren’t around) and my favourite is below. It will be interesting to see if my daughters become confident singers as a result of this exposure. Now 13 and 10 the jury is out – although the elder sings all the time, the younger keeps mum!

This nursery rhyme below is fun to draw pictures to if you are sitting down, and a pencil is to hand.

“1 2 3 4 5
Once I caught a fish alive
6 7 8 9 10
Then I let him go again.”

“Why did you let him go?”

“Because he bit my finger so.”

“Which finger did he bite?”

“This little finger on my right.”


Have a good weekend. Nicola x

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