Here is a quick game I put together to help the twins (30 months) learn to identify numbers and to count. It's a very basic concept so I'm sure I'm not inventing anything new. I used silicone cupcake holders, and cut out cardstock circles to fit at the bottom of each cup. Then I labeled them with the numbers from 1 to 6. The bees came from another game we have (I think it's called Honey Bee Tree), and the foam dice came from a set of twelve we already had. The game is to roll the die and then put that number of bees in the corresponding cups.
We usually play a bunch of variations of this game:
-Put each bee on a dot on the die and then buzz them to the flower one by one
-Instead of using dice, I call out a number for the bee to buzz to, or make up a rhyme that they have to complete like "Bee, bee, in the tree, fly to the number that says.... three!", and so on for all the numbers.
-Sometimes we just put random bees in the flowers and talk about the numbers.
-Mix up the flowers and then rearrange them in correct numerical order (the girls can't really do this one yet without lots of help)
Other activities we do when we take out this tray:
-Stack the flowers in each other and then unstack them
-Put one bee in our hands and sing "I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee". After the "Ouch! It stung me" part we rub our hand, blow on it, and kiss it.
-Recite the poem:
The little bees buzz. (bee buzzes around)
Buzz upon a flower. (put bee on flower).
Buzz upon my nose. (put bee on nose).
Buzz upon my little knee (put bee on knee).
And buzz down to my toes (move bee down leg to the toes).
The girls are really good at counting, but still get 2 and 5 confused (and sometimes 1 and 7), so we'll probably be taking this activity out once a week for a while longer.
UPDATE: I was so inspired by how much my kids enjoyed early learning games that I created the La La Logic Critical Thinking Curriculum for 3-6 year olds, which includes online brain challenge games, printable worksheets, enrichment activities and more!