We've been playing a lot of dice games lately (see our Shut the Box post here & our Build a Tower post here). We're practicing subitizing (fancy name for easily recognizing a small number without counting- like in the below picture knowing there are four blocks without counting each block). Today we used our Jenga blocks, dice and a box to continue practicing subitizing.
This is a quick and easy game. Start with three blocks. Place them under the box. Lift up the box and ask how many blocks are there? If the child counts, then for the next several turns work on 0, 1 and 2 only (let's build up that confidence- kids love winning, ok we all like winning). Once we are there, then introduce the third block, keep hiding a block(s) until he masters the highest number.
We were able to master four. Once we increased it to five blocks, he began counting. We kept practicing up to five for a few more minutes. Then I asked if he wanted a turn to hide the blocks under the box from me. He was so excited to be in control of the blocks and box.
I love these easy games. It's perfect, when you only have five minutes to get some work in. This would also be a great pair game, for Little Miss and Wild One to play together, with each taking turns being in control of the box and blocks.