10 piles of 10 = 100 Lego pieces

Benjamin’s Kindergarten class is counting. In celebration for their 100th day of school, the children are to count 100 items of something that they can take to school with them on that day. They suggested pennies, or beans, or beads.

Well, we have the Lego King here who decided that counting out 100 pieces of Lego could be fun.

In order to challenge him a tad further, I thought we could make it a little bit interesting. Instead of counting out 100 random pieces of Lego, why not make piles of 10 similar Lego pieces? He figured out quickly that we would need 10 piles, and he had a lot of fun decided which Lego pieces deserved the honour to be included in his piles.

In addition, I wrote out “the tens” (10, 20, 30 etc) on a square piece of paper and let him choose the correct one once he finished counting out the piles of 10.

The book One Watermelon Seed is a good introduction for small children on how to count, and how to count groups of ten.

Learning to count

I thought he couldn’t count that well. I tried counting with him here and there but he would fool around or mix up the numbers or sequence of numbers. We counted steps, socks in the laundry basket, swings at the park. Count, count, count.

Then I thought, let’s play a game that requires a die and he could learn to count the dots. And the squares he could move with his little man on the gameboard. He didn’t do it right and I let him, not wanting to take away from the fun. And fun he had. He wanted to play again.

But I thought perhaps it’s time to learn to count properly. So I researched a bit on how to do it and then devised my own way of helping him learn how to count.

Enter lego. Identical pieces of the same colour. And some foam numbers.

I thought that not only does he need to learn to count properly, he needs to recognize the numbers. He often calls a number a letter, or vice versa, so I thought we could use the foam bath numbers along with the lego, and learn to count that way.

I put all the lego pieces in a pile, placed the numbers in sequence on the board, and wanted him to put the correct number of lego underneath the corresponding number.

My intension was to mix up the numbers, out of sequence, so he could then still place the right amount of lego pieces beneath each number.

He mostly fooled around. He seemed distracted. I interpreted that as he didn’t want to learn or didn’t care at the time.

I put the pieces away and forgot about it.

Turns out, he mastered counting god knows how long ago. He demonstrated this several times when not asked to, randomly at home or out someplace. He counted way past six. He skips 13 every single time, but he counts all the way to 20. I guess he was just bored when he was “demonstrating” to me.

To test that he knows the numbers as well, I asked him to show me 5, or 2 or whatever. And he did it correctly before fooling around again. I tried to do reverse psychology and pointed to 3 and called it 4, and he corrected me.

Guess he knows his numbers.