Pondering Playtime // Halloween Counting Tuff Spot

October 4, 2019

Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my weekly series where I share a craft or play and learning activity that I’ve created for my preschool-age daughters. This week, I’ve chosen to share this fun halloween-themed numeracy tuff spot activity.

A close out of M's hands arranging two silver plastic mice and a large black plastic spider next to a yellow number three, on a bed of orange split lentils.

Halloween Counting Activity – Set Up

A wide shot of a blue tuff spot with a black plastic cauldron in the centre, filled with orange split lentils and plastic creepy crawlies, and surrounded by the numbers 1-9 arranged in a circle, in numerical order.

My three year old has been really interested in numbers and counting recently, so I decided to follow her lead and recycle some of the materials that I used for last year’s Room on the Broom Halloween tuff spot activity.

I dug out our cauldron and filled it with red split lentils and plastic creepy crawlies. Then I put some wooden magnetic numbers around the outside. I had thought about creating a clock face with them, but my three year old is only just starting to recognise numbers, so I didn’t want to confuse her by introducing double digits too soon.

As I have an 18 month old daughter as well as my three year old, I wanted to include the lentils to introduce a sensory element for her benefit.

M and B digging their hands into the toy cauldron in the tuff spot.

You will need:

A close up of two silver plastic mice and a large black plastic tarantula next to a yellow number three, on a bed of orange split lentils.

Halloween Counting Activity – What the girls thought

M was really excited about this activity, as soon as she saw the wooden numbers. She’s been talking about numbers and counting everything she can find recently, so I wanted to follow her lead and create an activity to help secure her number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.

I asked M to pick a digit, then we named it and counted out the same number of creepy crawlies. M enjoyed this and asked questions about the different digits. Her number recognition still needs work, but activities like this will help her to develop that skill.

At 18 months, B is still a bit too little for counting, although she does like to copy M and was pointing to creepy crawlies and pretending to count. B was most interested in the lentils, though, and spent most of her time diving headfirst into the tuff spot or sprinkling them into the cauldron. It was nice that she was busy and engaged while I was chatting to M about counting and number. Of course M enjoyed a bit of lentil sprinkling, too!

B digging her hand into the toy cauldron in the background, while M sprinkles lentils into the tuff spot in the foreground.


If you’re looking for more counting activities, you might like this peg counting activity. 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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