Rock counting plates labeled for the counting rocks preschool fine motor activity.

How many times have you gone on a walk or hike with your children and they find rocks that are just too special to leave behind? We can use those special rocks for this preschool counting and fine motor activity.

My children have found treasured rocks on every walk from the toddler stage on up. Even my younger ones still ask to keep rocks they find when we are out in nature!

As a great add-on activity to our Geology Learning Unit here, this counting rocks activity is a hands-on way to teach preschoolers to count. It adds in the fun of a fine motor activity.

Use the special rock collection your child has saved for this one. I have alternatives listed as well in case you do not have enough rocks to use.

Counting Rocks Preschool Counting and Fine Motor Activity


  • Paper plates – You will need 10
  • Permanent Marker
  • Rocks – If you would like enough to cover every plate, you will need 55 total rocks. You can use small building bricks or pom poms instead if you have those.


>>>Get your How to Teach a Preschool Activity Guide here. Then you will be ready to start the counting activity below.<<<


I label each of the plates with a number word. I write “one” on the first plate and draw one circle under the word. Then I write “two” on the next plate and draw two circles.

Keep labeling so each plate has one number word and the corresponding number of circles drawn on it.

Rock collection and paper plate preschool counting and fine motor activity supplies.

This lesson as a preschool counting activity that also teaches fine motor skills will give young kids practice with one to one correspondence.

When all plates are labeled, I arrange them in a row on the floor.

Another fun idea is to set the plates on the stairs if you have stairs in your home. This adds in the gross motor activity of climbing the stairs. Only do this if your child can safely climb stairs and you can supervise.

The plates could go outside to do this as an outdoor activity in the driveaway or yard too! So many way to use this for repeated practice.

NOTE: Definitely save these plates after they are used so your child can “play” with them again. It is important to have repeated practice with learning concepts in preschool.

I keep the plates in a bin with other learning activities for preschool. Then I can pull out old ones to teach those lessons again. Saves money to reuse these with your younger kids too.

When the plates are arranged in order, give your child a bag or container of rocks and help them start counting.

I read the number word and then tell them to grab that number of rocks. They place the rocks in the circles so they know and see how many “one” is on the first plate.

Keep going down the line until all the plates have been covered.

I like using the random rocks the kids pick up on hikes outdoors or while walking the dog. We had a plastic canister with their treasured rock collection. I keep it stored away so we can pull them out for activities like this.

This activity is so easy to set up. For older kids you can turn it into an addition activity similar to this busy bag idea. Enjoy the rock counting fun!

>>Did you miss our entire learning unit on rocks? The activities work for older preschoolers on up to middle school.

>>>Looking for more preschool counting and fine motor activities? Click to this page for a whole lot more!

Preschool counting with rocks is a preschool counting and fine motor activity all in one.