Recognising numbers and making a connection to their value are really important. It's great that children can count to 5 but understanding the value of 5 is also important. This activity is really good in helping a child to make those links.
It's a fun activity and very similar to that of unlocking letters (found on our EYFS page). You can use a picture of your child's favourite character, animal or family member (Which should be laminated for extra sturdiness), to interest your child or you can simply have the marked up locks ready to be unlocked.
If you decide to use a picture, punch a number of holes all around it - a good distance from each other.
Using sticky dots, or similar count out the coresponding number of dots to the number in which will be written on the key. For example for the number 8 add 8 sticky dots to the padlock. You will then write the number 8 on the key, you can also write the word 8 on the key to help with sight recognition for later on in their learning.
Loop all the padlocks through the holes in your chosen chracter, and ask your child to unlock their hero.
Encourage them to count out the spots on the padlock and then find the correct number on the key.
This activity can be turned into a game, a race against time to save their super hero, or hide and seek where you need to follow a treasure map to find the hidden keys. There are lots of wonderful ways to engage your child's imagination and make learning fun.