Explore Math While Singing Counting Songs

In this video, a mother and her 6-year-old son, Mateo, have fun singing “La canción de los botones,” a Spanish song centered around counting 10 buttons. Watch Mateo and his mother practice counting from one to 10. Can you also see them engage in some interesting math thinking?

Here are some tips for singing counting songs with children:

  • Count in chunks to help remember the sequence.
  • Use hand gestures to show when you are referring to one thing or the whole group of things.
  • Ask children to check at the end how many there are.
  • Carefully touch each thing and then push it aside so it doesn’t get skipped or counted twice.
  • Appreciate and encourage children’s strategies for solving math problems.

Find more ideas for using music and movement to grow young children’s math vocabulary and interest in this collection of math song guides.

Discussion Ideas

Watch and discuss this video as part of workshops, home visits, or one-on-one meetings with caregivers. Here are suggested questions for starting a conversation about ways caregivers can use music to support early math learning:

  1. This video is an example of the sort of math exploration that a parent can engage in with a child when singing a counting song together. Do you enjoy singing counting songs in your family? What are the songs you know that offer the opportunity to grow children’s math skills?
  2. Does this video give you any ideas for how you could highlight ideas about counting in other everyday activities with your child?