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Subitizing - Scavenger Hunt

Children love scavenger hunts. They enjoy so much trying to get all the items in their list, but once that's done, what next? We can use natural objects to improve our child's number sense or subitizing skills. Subitize means to perceive the number of a group of items at a glance  and without counting, Looking at the gallery below, how fast can you count the items on each picture?


  • Tell your child you are going to be explorers and you are going on a scavenger hunt.

  • Give him/her a plastic bag and a scavenger list. You can use my list or create your own.

  • If you want to make it more exciting you can give yourselves a time frame to complete this task or time yourself to see how long does it take. To keep high levels of excitement, you can use your phone timer and show it regularly to your child.

  • Once you finish your scavenger hunt you can look at the items collected and use the questions and comments on the left as a guide to support your child's learning with this activity.

Note: You can let your child take pictures of the items in the list instead of collecting them. You will help him/her to develop his/her technological skills and your hunt will be more respectful with nature.

You can create your own subitizing gallery, like the one on the left.


Are you going on a scavenger hunt?

Questions and comments to develop your Reception child's learning

  • Understanding of the World:

    • That leave is brown, I wonder why.

    • Do you know what is a Community Garden, why do you think plants and trees are important?

    • Let's write a list for a scavenger hunt in the North Pole

  • Numbers:

    • Can you estimate how many leaves do we have? Move around the leaves and ask again. How many do we have now? 

    • Your sister has 2 more than you, does she have enough - as many as requested in our list? 

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