Delightful Counting Activities – Learn to Subitise with The Little Dots


Subitise Meaning and Why Children Need to Subitise?

Subitising is a term introduced by Piaget and means the instant recognition of a collection of objects according to their pattern. If you have read my previous blogs – Number Sense and the Number System and 3 Free EYFS Maths Activities to Develop Number Sense you will know how important it is in developing children’s understanding of number and in developing greater number sense.

To subitise numbers to 6 involves perceptual subitising which means children will learn how to instantly recognise quantities without having to make any further links.

Numbers beyond this become a little more difficult to recognise and children will conceptually subitise larger quantities. They will use their knowledge of earlier numbers to make links and connections. For example they may see a group of eight as two groups of 4 or 6and 2 or 5 and 3. That is why this early subitising is so important. It not only helps with the identification of larger quantities but also supports activities such as counting on, addition, subtraction etc.

My book ‘The Little Dots – Friends you can Count on‘ is a perfect introduction for children to learn how to subitise to 5. Children will love to meet the characters and get to know their quirky ways while also learning a whole host of dot patterns without even realising it. For more information on my book visit my Little Dots Blog.

Subitising Activities Pack

Once the children are hooked by the book and are beginning to subitise you can develop their learning further with my Little Dots Counting Activities pack. There are 20 pages that can be used in a number of ways within the classroom environment.

Subitising Activities – Display Posters

There are display posters of each of the characters 0 to 5 in two sizes – A4 and half A4. Add them to a display of the Little Dots for the children to have as a visual reference throughout the day and during math’s activities. They could also be used for a variety of games within and around the classroom –

  • Place them in different corners of the classroom, hall or play area. Call out different numbers for the children to run to to support number recognition.
  • Match counters to the cards.
  • Find matching pairs.
  • Place them in number order.
  • Find cards that are bigger/smaller than eachother.
  • Find cards that are one more or one less.

Subitising Activities -Worksheets

The Little Dots love to do magic with numbers. The worksheets allow the children to do their own magic with numbers. However, they don’t need a magic wand as they have their own magic pot of pencils!

Counting Activities

Oh no! The Little Dots have lost their spots. If the children have had lots of experience with the Little Dots they will know exactly how many spots they will need to draw. Some children may need support by using the picture cards or the book to help them initially but will get more confident and better at this with practise.

Can the children match the Little Dots to the right house? This activity will support the children with number recognition. There is a colour and black and white version. In the black and white version children need to colour the house curtains to match the Little Dot’s spots as they do in the book.

Can children match the Little Dots to their pets who also have spots. This worksheet will develop children’s counting skills along with their ability to subitise as they begin to understand that quantities can be represented in different ways. The spots on the pets are a subtle introduction to five frames. For more information about five and ten frames visit EYFS Maths – 4 Important Number Relationships.

Children need to add the numbers to the rainbow once they have had chance to practise writing them a number of times.

The Little Dot cards can again be used in a number of ways. Cut out the front and back of The Little Dots and match them together.

The final page again gives the children practise in putting the spots on the Little Dots and also in writing numbers.

For a copy of the activity pack visit my teacherspayteachers store or my tes store. If you would like some free subitising activities sign up to Little learners online and you will get them as a free gift along with other freebies sent by email.

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