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Busy Hands: Pasta Counting Activity

With numbers and letters, reinforcement and practice are important for children. But I like the challenge of coming up with something new each time I want Little Dude to recall what he knows. The good thing about learning through play is that you don't need too many tools to teach. Look around you, and you are bound to come across something that can make the process fun.

This Pasta Counting Activity required little effort, and was great for practising counting. You can replace the pasta with beans or pom poms, or whatever you have in hand.

A word of caution here - don't leave young children unattended with small materials. You never know when they'll try to put something in their mouth. 


Pasta Counting Activity


For this Pasta Counting Activity, we used the following materials:


- A large egg carton
- Coloured pasta (left over from this Upcycled Bottle project)
- Number cards from 1 to 10 (hand made, can also be used for this Number Hunt game)

Here's how we did the activity (in two ways):


First method - I counted the pasta and put it in ten slots in the egg carton. These were in groups from one to ten, placed randomly. You can also place them in the right order, depending on your child's readiness. I made the number cards with white card stock and wrote on them with coloured felt pens. You don't have to use coloured pasta, but they also also be extended to do a colour sorting activity later.

Pasta Counting Activity with number cards

I asked Little Dude to pick the pasta one at a time from each slot, and line them up to count them. This can be a little tricky for toddlers, so let them do it at their own pace. Lining them up really makes the pasta easy to count.

Once he had counted the number of pasta in each slot, I asked him to pick the corresponding number card and place it in that container. The photo below shows how the activity looked in progress, and when completed.

Pasta Counting - An Easy Learning Activity

Second method - After we had done this activity once, we did the reverse. I placed the cards in the slots first and asked Little Dude to count that many pasta pieces and put them in the right slot.

Pasta counting activity for learning numbers

It was fun both ways, and really helped in practising those counting skills. This would also make a good after-school activity for preschoolers and kindergartners to do.

This Pasta Counting Activity is great for:

- Fine motor skills
- Counting practice
- Recognizing numbers
- Hand and eye coordination

To see more ideas on simple learning, check out this post on Eleven Ideas For Everyday Learning.



Busy Hands is a series about activities and craft 
you can do with toddlers and young children.


This post has been linked to:
Let Kids Be Kids // Tuesday Tutorials //
The Weekly Kids Co-Op


Toddler Activities 6252625725997601387

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