How to Be a Number Hero: A Math Activity for Preschoolers

I have been an elementary school teacher for thirteen years, but I must admit…teaching your child is a wee bit different! It is so important to build early literacy and math skills like number sense at home right from the beginning, but where do you start? has you covered!

The following is a guest post from with a fantastic math activity for your preschooler. This activity could be done at home with your little one or adapted for the preschool classroom. It is educational, but also so much fun!

How to Be a Number Hero

How to Be a Number Hero: A Math Activity for Preschool

Who wouldn’t like to be a hero for a day? (Or more!) Allow your child to be the hero he’s always wanted to be, as he rescues numbers from certain danger. Not only will he flex his superhero powers, but he’ll practice early math skills while he’s at it. In this activity, your child will learn to identify numbers, recognize health and safety topics, and improve his language skills. The best part is, he’ll have a blast while he’s doing it!

What You Need:

  • 4” or larger plastic or card stock number cards
  • Down vest
  • Permanent marker, fabric paint, or number stickers
  • Coat hook
  • “Number Hero” name card
  • Colorful sand pail with a handle


  1. Use the markers, fabric paint, or number stickers to decorate the down vest and the colorful sand pail with random numbers.
  2. Have your child make a name card with the words “Number Hero” written on it. Hang the “Number Hero” name card above a coat hook in your home. Hang the vest on the same hook.
  3. In a room in your home, such as the living room, place 10 of the number cards randomly about the room in places that could be somewhat precarious, such as on the stairs, on the edge of the sink, near a pair of scissors, and so on.

Number Hero

What You Do:

  1. Invite your child to be a Number Hero. You can make this a one-day event, or do it daily for an entire week, allowing him to rescue numbers each day for a few minutes after school or in the morning.
  2. When the designated time arrives, have your child put on the numbered vest and carry the numbered bucket.
  3. Instruct your Number Hero to walk around the room and “rescue” each of the numbers from danger.
  4. Each time your Number Hero picks up a number, have him place it in the bucket and carry it back to “safety” (an area designated as a safe zone, like a basket or a couch corner.) Once all of his numbers are rescued, give your hero a chance to tell you about his adventures. Let him pick up each number one by one, identify it, and tell you how he saved it from certain danger.
  5. After all 10 numbers have been “rescued,” have your child hang the vest and the pail back on the hook.

Not only does this game present a great opportunity for pretend play, but it puts the power in your child’s hands. It’s a great way to practice number recognition, but also to work those pre-reading skills. As your child describes how he saved each number, he’ll be practicing recall and other skills that will help later with reading comprehension.

Do you love this math activity as much I did? Check out additional math resources and activities here.

You can find worksheets, activities, games, songs, and lesson plans for school or home on I played this kitchen counting game with my toddler and then we tried to find other objects in the kitchen to count. Preschool is such a great age to make learning fun. Toddler brains are like little sponges ready to soak up all the fun and learning possible!

What are your favorite math activities to do with your preschooler? Please comment and share below!
How to Be a Number Hero A Math Activity for Preschool
Math Activity for Preschool

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