How Many are Hiding? Games

“How many do we have? Now close your eyes and I will hide some. Open your eyes! How many are hiding?”

You can play How Many are Hiding? in many different ways! Use an assortment of items (fingers, pennies, stuffed animals, toys, or even people) and hide them with your hand, a cup, or, for large things, a blanket or piece of furniture. When counting ‘how many,’ children are practicing reciting number words in the correct order, using one-to-one correspondence, cardinality (knowing how many in all), and subitizing (immediately recognizing a small quantity). Then, in order to know many items are hiding, children must remember how many there were, determine how many there are now, and figure out how many were taken away. As children gain more experience with these games, increase the number of objects used. Children also enjoy doing the hiding — in this case, they must work to make sure their partner correctly finds out how many are hiding!


More information about the math skills that How Many are Hiding? targets


Click on the link below to view, download, and print the directions for How Many are Hiding? games!

How to play How Many are Hiding?


Tracking your child’s developing math skills


Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
This is a classic counting picture book: one black dot makes a sun, 2 black dots make up the eyes of a fox, and three black dots make a snowman. As you read this book with children, count the dots on the page together. This book pairs great with the dot cards games because both help children practice their one-to-one counting and subitizing. You can also use this book to help children see that bigger numbers are composed of smaller numbers. For example, on the book page that shows 6 dots, one hand holds 3 new marbles while the other hand holds 3 old marbles — 3 and 3 make 6!

Quack and Count by Keith Baker
The seven ducklings in this books split into whole number combinations that make seven. First, children count all seven ducks. Then, the ducks slide, hide, chase, splash, and quack in the combinations of 6 + 1; 5 + 2; 4 + 3; 3 + 4; 2 + 5; and 1 + 6. Finally, all seven ducks fly! This book helps children understand that bigger numbers are composed of smaller numbers. This is the same mathematical idea that is practiced in the How Many Are Hiding dot cards game — numbers are composed of parts that together make up a whole.                                                  

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Elhert
This counting book is a pleasure to read aloud with beautiful, vivid illustrations. The narrator imagines that she has turned into a fish and will “flip down rivers and splash in the sea.” On each page, children can count the fish from 1 to 10. The narrator also includes simple addition problems on each page such as, “4 striped fish, plus me, makes 5.” Children will enjoy counting the fish and the fish eyes as you read. For an added challenge, try the “plus one” problem on each page. For an additional activity, children can enjoy making their own illustrations of fish to count. To make fish, children can glue together colored bits of paper or use crayons, markers, or paint. Have children narrate their illustration and write down what they say to create your own story!