Almost every little one who reads GOODNIGHT, ARK instinctively wants to count the animals that fill each colorful page. So, seizing upon that intrinsic love, here are some fun counting activities to engage those emerging mathematicians. Enjoy!
All Aboard: After reading the opening where Noah invites the animals to board the ark, pause with your child to look for pairs of animals, counting a simple one, two, for each pair. Extra challenge: Count ALL the animals boarding the ark.
Off to Bed Two-by-Two: For this spread, first look for pairs, counting a simple one, two per pair. Extra challenge: Count the animals by twos ( 2, 4, 6, 8 etc.) to see how many are settling down for the night.
Now how many? (Adding on): As the story unfolds, different pairs of animals head for Noah’s bed. For each spread, count how many animals are in (or under) the bed already. Then add on the number of newcomers. Example: On the fifth spread, there are two boar and two skunks for a total of four. They are joined by two quail and two sheep. Kids can add those to the four by counting up, five, six, seven, eight. Extra challenge: Create number sentences to add up each new total: 4+4=8 or 4+2+2= 8.
Category Count: In this fun variation, have your little ones count by category. Example: How many animals with wings are there? How many animals with stripes How many animals with scales? How many insects?
What If? (Subtracting): For this activity, have fun counting up your bed totals on each page and then wonder together how many would be left if a particular animal, or pair of animals, decided to head back down to their own bunks.
EXTENSION: (Inspired by my daughter who baked the cookies picture above). Bake and decorate pairs of animal cookies. Then use them to practice all the different kinds of counting we’ve explored today. Once you’ve finished counting, have a cookie snack.