Here's a simple idea ... because, really, there's no point sharing a "complicated" idea to try with your toddler ... that would be kind of silly, huh?!
I grabbed my camera and took NHV out to the backyard. I told her the plan ... to count things we see outside and try to find one, two, three, four, and five.
To get the process started, I pointed to the lone ball sitting in the middle of the driveway (not a great place for a ball, btw) and asked, "How many balls do you see?" To which she looked at the ball and then at me with an expression that clearly said, "Is this a trick question?" Apparently that was too easy, but always good to start with a confidence-booster! I asked the same question again; to which Natalie replied, "There's just ONE ball, mommy."
"Right you are. Go stand near it and I'll take a picture."
Next we spotted two bikes hanging from the side of the house. We also talked about how many wheels each bike has and counted to four. Repeated that discussion for the pedals, and then talked about the seats ... there are only two of those, which Natalie found quite interesting.
Near the bikes, Natalie spotted three "garbage" cans ... and then also informed me that there are numbers on the side of the big blue recycling can. She even identified almost all of them correctly ... high five, baby girl!
As we stepped over the huge patch of clover in our yard, I couldn't help but point out that the clover has three leaves.
We found four steps on her little climbing wall and the ladder to her slide.
And, finally, just as Natalie was getting bored of this activity, we counted the number of flower pots without flowers planted in them ... FIVE!
Simple, fun practice counting like objects (and identifying numbers).