Children often first learn how to count with hands. With fingers and hands, kids can learn how to recognize patterns, identify groups of 5 and 10, and skip count by 5 and 10. In addition, basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication) is introduced. My 4-year-old daughter and I made Counting Felt Hands to learn how to count and learn simple math problems with this fun, hands-on activity!
This post has affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for further details.
What you need:
- Felt – Although you could use construction paper, I wanted the hands to be durable so I could reuse them for future teaching.
- We used stiff felt for durability, but just be aware that your wrist may get sore as I experienced from cutting. You may want to consider soft felt instead!
- We used colorful felt so that each pair of hands were a certain color and therefore associated with groups of 10s. However, you could make each felt hand the same color if you prefer
- Black marker
- A pair of cute child hands 🙂
How to count with felt hands:
- Trace each pair of hands 10 times (10 x 10 = 100 fingers!)
- Cut hand shapes
- Optional: Label finger numbers and/or label 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.
- Learning activities:
- Mix up the hands & sort by number order
- Mix up the hands. Write 5, 10, 15, 20 etc on stickers or paper and match it in sequential order on the hands
- Practice adding and subtracting by 5s and 10s
- Learn basic multiplication by discussing sets of hands
We actually made the Counting Felt Hands a year ago, but after all the prep work was completed, my daughter had no interest at the time! I tried to reintroduce it every few months to no avail. However, last week, my daughter was rummaging through our Chinese activity bin and said she wanted to use the Counting Felt Hands! She placed them on a small tray, as that is what we usually do when update our shelves with new activities!
Then she sorted, aligned, and rearranged each of the hands independently!
I think her numeracy skills improved significantly with our hands-on math activities, such as the Hundred Chart and Number Pegging activities. Thus, she was now ready to enjoy learning with the counting felt hands!
We also turned the hands over to the blank side. Then she matched dot stickers (available here) to the number of fingers shown.
We then tested her addition skills on the easel (available here), and she aced it! Whoohoo, mission accomplished!
If your child has fun learning how to count with Counting Felt Hands, please let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag @CHALKAcademy on Instagram and Facebook! We love to see how other families do Chinese activities!
Looking for Chinese math resources? Click here to see more than 10 useful resources for learning counting and math in Chinese!
Happy learning, friends!