# Counting and calculation finger games

## Learning to Count and Calculate with Finger Games

Counting and calculation finger games are great for younger children, there are lots of ideas online that you can use to make counting and calculation games to play with children using your fingers. Try to keep the games short and fun! When we are counting backwards from larger numbers, for example, we don’t need to go all the way to zero, just ‘jump in’ at an appropriate place and counting back long enough to check understanding. You can practice most skills with just your fingers! Here are a few suggestions.

### How old are you?

Ask a 3-year-old, “How old are you? Are you this age?”
Show them three fingers on one hand.
Then ask, “How old are you? Are you this age?”
Hold up two fingers on one hand and one finger on your other hand. (Children usually answer, “No!”)
Don’t be scared to model counting your fingers. Try this with other ages, too!

### Do you know?

Think of objects around the house, in the garden, anywhere your child is familiar with. (Ideally, the answers will be less than ten, to begin with!) This is a great opportunity to get them active, send them off to find out. Ask questions and get your child to show the answer on their fingers, for example:
“How many chairs around the table?”
“How many doors are there in the kitchen?”
“How many drawers are there in the kitchen?”
“How many eggs in an egg box?”
“How many spoons can they find?”

### Show me!

You hold up any number of fingers. Ask your child to show you the same
number on their fingers but in a different way.

### More or Less!

Hold up any number of fingers on your hands.
Say a number (make sure they can do it on their fingers)
Ask your child to show you the new number on their fingers.
(Begin with 1, so you ask them to show you 1 more or one less!)

### Fingers Fingers

Together chant, “Fingers, fingers, 1, 2, 3. How many fingers do you see?”

Using two hands, hold up four fingers (for example).

Children answer, saying four or showing four with their fingers. BIG celebrations when they get it right! Give loving encouragement if they get it wrong, explain how many there are, counting each finger shown.