*Download the PDF of this Paolini Method lesson **here**.*

Use this nifty book to teach your child to count and write numbers. As your child traces each number’s shape with his fingers, it reinforces the pattern he will later use to write. If you have just one tool for teaching numbers, choose the Balloon Book!

**What You Need:**

Cardstock, plain paper, hole punch, colored string, colored markers, solid colored 3/4-inch round stickers (optional), lined writing paper (optional)

**To Prepare:**

Cut eleven 5- by 8-inch sheets of cardstock.

Punch three holes down one side of each page. Bind at the side with string to form a book.

On the cover write “The Balloon Book.”

On the back of each page, which will be on the left side as you open the book, write a large number, 1–10.

Cut to size and glue a piece of colored string over each number.

Cut ten pieces of 2- by 2.5-inch plain paper. Decorate with markers. These will be the bases for the balloons. Set aside.

Cut fifty-five pieces of string in lengths varying from 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length. These will be the strings for your balloons, which will be on the right side as you open the book.

Glue the correct number of balloon strings onto the fronts of the pages (except the cover) so they correspond with the number. The bottom of the strings should be 2.5 inches from the bottom of the page.

Glue the bases over the bottom ends of the strings. Let dry.

Press round 0.75-inch colored stickers over the tops of the strings to make “balloons” or cut and decorate paper “balloons” and glue them in place.

(Optional) Write “the end” on the back cover of the book.

**Activity 1:**

Read the Balloon Book with your child. Say, “This is one, one, one.” Each time you say, “one,” gently hold your child’s hand and trace his first two fingers down the string over the number.

Point to the balloon and say, “One balloon.” Invite your child to trace the number one himself.

Turn the page and say, “This is two, two, two.” Trace the number with him each time you say “two.”

Point to the balloon and count, “One, two. Two balloons.” Invite your child to trace the number two himself.

Repeat for each of the pages. Read the book often and soon your child will be reading it to you!

**Activity 2:**

When your child is very familiar with the book, ask him to find you a specific number. Have him find it and then count to check himself.

**Activity 3:**

Open the book at random and ask your child how many balloons there are. If this seems difficult to him, review Activity 1 or 2.

**Activity 4:**

When he begins to write, have him trace the numbers with his fingers in the balloon book, then write the numbers on lined paper. Give him lots of practice with this. Form little books with his writing practice pages.

Note: Help beginning writers by making dotted-line numbers for them to trace with their pencil.

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