Pondering Playtime // Spooky Counting Activity

October 25, 2019

Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my weekly series where I share a fun play and learning activity. This week, I’ve chosen this spooky Halloween-themed counting activity, which my three year old enjoyed.

Two white card ghosts, one with a number 11 written on it and the other with number 7 written on it in black ink. Each ghost has the corresponding number of pegs clipped to it.

Spooky Counting Activity – Set Up

Six number ghosts sit in a blue tuff spot, with a pile of pegs underneath them.

For this activity, I cut out six ‘ghosts’ from three pieces of white A4 card. I then used a Sharpie to draw on eyes and numbers. When deciding on the numbers, I chose a mixture of single-digit numbers that I know M already recognises, plus the digit seven which I know she is unsure about at the moment. I also chose two two-digit numbers; eleven, because I know that M can reliably count to eleven but does not yet recognise any two-digit numbers, and fourteen, because M has been counting, “twelve, thirteen, sixteen’ repeatedly, and I wanted to give her the opportunity to correct that misconception.

I put the ghosts into the tuff spot along with some wooden pegs – enough for M to complete all of the ghosts, with some left over.

M clips a peg onto a ghost with the number 11 written on it. There are already 10 pegs on the ghost.

You will need:

M uses her index finger to point at a peg as she counts the pegs on her cardboard ghost.

Spooky Counting Activity – What M thought

M always takes an interest when I’m preparing a tuff spot, and this activity was no exception. She asked what I was doing as I made the ghosts, then shouted out excitedly when she recognised a number I was writing, or asked what the number was, if she didn’t.

M was fully engaged in the task of putting the pegs on the ghosts, counting as she went along to check whether she had enough. I prompted her by encouraging her to slow down, to help the accuracy of her one-to-one correspondence. I also asked her questions like, “how many do you have so far?” and, “so, how many more do you need?” to help her to work things out for herself, rather than telling her what to do.

B enjoyed ‘helping’ and this activity provided her with a good opportunity to develop her fine motor skills.

B sits in the centre of the tuff spot, trying to clip a peg onto a ghost. M sits to the right hand side of the tuff spot, holding her cardboard peg ghost in one hand, while reaching for a peg with the other hand.


If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!


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