Sunday, 28 April 2013

Fishing for Numbers - Early Number Learning

For the last week or so my daughter (3yrs) has been singing the rhyme "One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive" after hearing it sung on play school. So I have made some fish to encourage her interest in learning of numbers

My daughter is a 'seeker' as she directs her own learning and I support and encourage her as she goes along. Learning about numbers through music is not only fun but it also builds phonological awareness, assist in speech and vocabulary development and builds confidence in the learner as the play. Click on the picture below to download a copy of the 'Fish Alive' rhyme.

Number recognition and Ordering
Using the song, we put the fish in order from numbers one to ten and pointed to each numbered fish as we sang the rhyme. After we used the numbered fish, I introduced the dotted fish. Again we ordered the fish from one dot to ten dots as we counted them. 

We then used both sets of fish to match the numbered fish to the dotted fish. This involved identifying the number on the fish, counting dots and then problem solving in order to pair them together. 

The larger numbers (in the picture below) are still a little hard for my daughter (3yrs) but she was happy to count along with me as I modeled how to identify the number, count the number of the dots and pair the fish together. 

Playing Fishing
By simply adding a paper clip to the top of our laminated fish, we were then able to 'go fishing'. Using a stick, some string and a magnet, we were able to play with our fish and continued counting, matching and ordering not only the numbers but also the colour of the fish. 

By playing 'fishing' with our number fish, not only was my daughter learning more about numbers as she played, she was also developing hand-to-eye coordination as she moved the rod and line to pick up the fish. 

Extending Learning
To extend number learning further with our number fish, you can use simple addition (such as in the picture below) or even subtraction using both the number and the dotted fish to make a sum. 

Game of Memory
Matching both numbers and colours can be done by playing the game of memory (shown below). We used fish that were numbered/dotted up to five and turned them over to play our game of memory.

You can download a copy of my printable fish and the song that I shared above, by clicking here.

More early number learning ideas can be found on my Early Learning - Number pinterest board.


  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful Printables! I have downloaded & saved a few:-) here's the link to the video where my son plays with these printables

    1. WOW!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with me!! It is so wonderful to see my printables being used by children all around the world. Just lovely! I will share your link on my facebook page.Thank you!