Weekend Warriors: Counting Gloves

People! I have been waiting for this day! The first installment of Weekend Warriors! This has been a long time coming and I am so glad it is finally HERE!
So, yep, I am proud to be one of the Weekend Warriors...which is a good description of a girl who will be in her classroom at some point today...but that's nothing I want to think about yet.

Here's the low down... Weekend Warriors is a FUN group of bloggers {if I do say so myself} who are using the last weekend of the month to share some tips, tricks, ideas... a freebie here and there and maybe a giveaway too!

So let's get right on to today's action....Counting Gloves! This is a little warm up, game, trick for your kinder classroom.
Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves math kindergarten
I have to tell you this was not my idea.... but my little ones think it is. Shh! Let's not tell them otherwise.

I observed another teacher early in this school year and watched her use this technique and literally drove to Target that same day and purchased my own little gloves.

Sidenote: Even as I am just about to close out my 15th year in the classroom...the most valuable thing I do to grow and learn is to observe other teachers IN action... followed by a close second of reading blogs..but watching another teacher TEACH is my favorite.... try to find a way to make that happen as often as possible for you too!

Counting gloves ask kids to use their fingers to count in a systematic way. Basically you need to grab some gardening gloves... mine are from Target... and yes, they are from the $1.00 bin {and I just saw that they are still there now.}

Grab a Sharpie and number your gloves 1-10. Start with the right glove because you want it to mirror for the kids- so when the kids count they are going from left to right just like with reading. {Confused? Scroll down and check out some action shots!}

Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves math kindergarten

I started this only using one glove and working with numbers 1-5- maybe you could even do 1-3 if needed. I tell the kids to get their counting hands ready!

Now.... let me say.... I never really post "action shots" of me teaching... not sure if this is a treat or a punishment for you.

But this just shows you how I use this whole group... when I have a random extra few minutes here or there.... we also use it in small group as a warm up to start our math lesson.
Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves math kindergarten
I am saying things like, "Show me two, now three, now back to two, now three, now four" etc etc....

The matching headband was not planned.

The kids are supposed to have their back of their hand facing them- as all of them do in this picture except for my one friend right in front of me.

It is strange at first to start counting with your pinky.... BUT over time they get used to it. They like to tell me how four is the same as always.

Then I will get faster... "show me seven, now eight, back to seven..." fast, fast, fast... They LOVE it.
Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves
Not only is this good listening and counting practice {and fine motor which I will discuss in a bit} this is teaching them to use their fingers as a tool... in a good way. I feel in the past counting on our fingers was taboo and seen almost as a weakness. I also feel like kids would do some strange things when using their fingers to count.

So if they are going to use their fingers regardless... we should teach them how to be effective when doing so.

Now they have a plan. They count from left to right just like they read. One could argue this is the beginning of a number line... I mean, they are going to the left to get larger numbers and back to the right to smaller ones.

Let's briefly talk about fine motor skills... not math related, but crucial for little ones. Not only for their handwriting, but some studies have shown a link to their reading and math abilities.
Kids in this generation are on the iPad. They can swipe, they can tap the screen, but they sometimes lack strength in their fingers.

Well, let me tell you that Counting Gloves is a great way to build strength.... in fact, when you first try it you may be amazed at how some of your little ones can't hold up their pinky on their own... or the hardest one... pinky and ring finger. So this little game works on that paramount skill too.

Oh... and some will complain when you announce it...."Ahhh it makes my hand hurt!" but the rest are cool with it and for those others... well, that is how I feel when I leave the gym...horrible, but it's good for me.

Lastly, {sorry- but just one more thing to share!}once they are good at Counting Gloves. I will say, "The special counting way to make 5 {or whatever number} is this" ...and show them... "but can you show me another way to make five?"

And I may see this:
{hmm, sorry for the quality of this picture... hard to hide their faces AND show you their combos of 5!}

And how about another way? Now turn to your partner and show each other how you make five. Explain it...compare it... etc. I will hear things like: I have three fingers on this hand and two on another.....and this my friends is the beginning of subitizing and addition facts to five {Two Common Core Math Standards for Kinder}

So that is my trick for you today... come back tomorrow for more! And......     to help kick off this Weekend Warrior Extravaganza I am offering $10 in my Crayons and Whimsy TpT store!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to hop on over to all these other Weekend Warriors- who also have some Mathematical action for you.... and their own giveaway too!


  1. I LOVE that idea! Who would have thought one simple activity like that could teach SO many skills. I am going to share it with our K teachers immediately!
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

  2. LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Going to Target right now!!!!

  3. I LOVE this idea! It's super easy and engaging! Love it!
    The Tutu Teacher

  4. Could you be any cuter?!?! I love this idea!

    Lucky to Be in First

  5. I love this idea! My little one has recently been using her fingers to show numbers. She likes to quiz me. Ha! I may bust out my own pair of counting gloves this summer when we work on her kinder skills!

    Primarily Speaking

  6. Some great ideas - thank you for sharing! When mine get good at showing the different numbers on their fingers and are used to showing the totals to me in different ways, I have them put their hands behind their heads like bunny ears (an idea that was shared with me on a course). Even I find this tricky to do without looking at my fingers! It's great practice for them though and really shows they know their stuff!
    Growing Little Learners

  7. Such a great way to teach multiple counting strategies! :) Nice post!

  8. Need to remember to do this!