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Today I have a great guest post from Bridget, sharing a fun and hands-on way to learn numbers using rocks!

Hi, I’m Bridget, I blog simple everyday ways to promote learning at!

Children have a natural tendency to engage with nature and are designed to learn through exploration of the world. They have recently arrived on our marvelous and fascinating planet, and nature is pretty amazing and unfathomable. It’s great to use natural elements to promote learning because they are free, free, interesting to children and sustainable for our planet.

These number rocks are a cool way to strengthen children’s numeracy skills (counting, matching, one to one correspondence, number recognition, amount and number order.)

Hands-On way to Learn Numbers with Rocks

What you need:

  • Ten rocks
  • White paint
  • A black pen
  • A collection of leaves, seeds and sticks (whatever you can find).

What to do:

  • Paint the rocks with the white paint and wait for them to dry.
  • Put one dot on one rock and write the number one on the back of the rock. Write number ‘2’ on the next, adding two dots and so on until you have done ten rocks. If your children are up to it, make a rock with a plus sign on and a rock with a minus sign.
  • Go on a ‘treasure hunt’ and pick up lots of leaves, flowers, seeds and sticks.

Learning ideas:

Match each stone with the same number of natural items.

Put the rocks in a bag. Take turns picking a rock out of the bag and finding the corresponding number of items.

Sort the natural items into groups and then find the rock where the number corresponds with each group.

Order the rocks from one to ten or ten to one.

Play a game. The first player picks a rock; the second player finds the leaves or sticks to match the number and then picks another number. The next player finds the corresponding seeds to match the second rock. Add the two numbers together and count all the items to see what the answer is.

Sit the rocks in a basket in your child’s room so that they can include them in their play! You might even stick craft eyes on them and give each one a a name. Your child might end up inventing new things to do with them.

Happy counting!

Bridget is a passionate early childhood education manager, teacher and advocate. She is the author of Road No Good runner up in the Finch Memoir Prize 2016 and available in bookstores from 1st February 2017. Bridget is a busy mother of two children, a one year old and a three year old. She shares easy ways to help young children develop critical social and emotional skills on her blog at

For more ideas like this one, check out my Pinterest board below for homeschool preschool ideas.


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