About Games with Fingers and Counters

Playing these games with fingers and counters supports children’s understanding of early math concepts, from counting and cardinality to composing and decomposing numbers (the foundation of addition and subtraction). When children play math games with their fingers and with simple counters, they are strengthening their number knowledge and their ability to visualize numbers in their minds. And, these games are easy to play anywhere because you only need your fingers or some simple objects to use as counters. In developing these materials, we found it was most helpful when teachers introduced a game or a minibook in the classroom and then sent the materials, directions, and the minibooks home for children to play and read with their families. Children are proud to share—and teach—what they learned in school. Then, children can come back to the classroom and share what they learned at home

Materials Needed

Counters or tokens, Paper or cloth, Large Dot Cards and Game Board, Directions

What's the math in these games?

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, a key part of composing and decomposing number (adding and subtracting). 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!

To play Copy My Dots (with counters) print these large format dot cards and game board.
Game Kits Coming Fall 2021!

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Related Resources

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The Power of Yet for Math Mindset (English)