Teaching Number Recognition 11-20: Preschool Math Activities

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These math activities will help preschool children recognize the numbers 11-20 and count sets with up to twenty objects in them. Use the activities with the whole class, in small groups, or even as part of your math center.

Counting and Number Recognition Activities for 11-20

Provide students with numbers lines that go up to 20 or with the first two rows of a hundred chart. Take a couple of minutes to practice counting to twenty each day. Have the children point with their fingers and look at each number as they say it. Make it fun by letting them use different voices when they count like whispering voices, loud voices, or squeaky voices. After you practice counting, say “Show me 17” and have all of the children find the number seventeen on the number line and point to it. Call out several numbers for the students to find, focusing on eleven to twenty, to help them learn to recognize these larger numbers.

Make an eleven through twenty book. Give each child a small blank book with the numbers 11 to 20 written on the pages. Then give him or her a sheet of small stickers and have him put the appropriate numbers of sticker on each page.

For an easy matching game, write the numbers from 11 to 20 on index cards and then use stickers to make sets of each number on another card. Spread the cards out face up and have the children work in groups of two or three to pair up the numeral with the set that matches. To make the game harder, have the children place all of the cards face down and turn over two at a time, looking for matches, like the game of Memory.

Place small containers filled with different objects in groups of numbers from eleven to twenty in your math center for the children to practice counting. Some ideas for what to put in the containers are eleven buttons, fourteen cotton balls, and twenty pennies. Place sticky notes with the correct number on the bottom of each container, so that the children can check their counting.

Ten Frame Activities

Use a ten frame to help students visualize the numbers eleven to twenty.

  • Give each child a double ten frame organizer and about twenty counters. The first time you use the double ten frame show the children how to use the counters to make the numbers 11-20. For eleven the first ten frame will be full, with only one counter in the second. For twelve there will be two in the second ten frame, etc. Build each number together. Then call out numbers in random order for the children to make with their counters.

  • For another ten frame activity, give each pair of children a paper sack filled with cards or slips of paper with the numbers 11-20 written on them. Have each child draw a number and make it with counters on her double ten frame. Next the two children compare the numbers and decide which is larger. Then they can clear their ten frames and draw two more numbers until all of the numbers have been made.

Counting Books

Read lots of picture books that deal with counting to twenty. Choose books that have objects that can be easily counted to help your preschoolers learn to count these larger groups. Make the books available to students after you have shared them with the class so that they can practice counting in them. Here are a few that your preschool students will enjoy.

  • Counting Wildflowers by Bruce McMillan
  • Bears At The Beach by Niki Yektai
  • One Moose, Twenty Mice by Clare Beaton
  • Counting Is for the Birds by Frank Mazzola, Jr.

With these preschool math activities, counting 11-20 will be a snap for your students!