Snack/meal time is a perfect opportunity to sit and connect with our children. Its a great way to increase communication, language development, motor skills, and even basic academic skills. I made these number plates one day and offered them to my son at snack time. We talked about the numbers, I let him explore the plates, and then we made a game out of snack time. I typically let him chose how he wants to play with them during snack - "Would you like to count them and put them on the plates?" or "Would you like to count as I put them on the plates" or "Would you like a turn or do you want me to have a turn", etc etc. I don't ever want to make it a "chore" for him - I want to guide gently and I want it to be fun. I have a drawer where all of his plates go - at snack time and meal time he gets his own plate (he loves this independence). We can go DAYS without playing with the number plates - and that's fine - if he wants them, he gets them. I also have a small pitcher for him - he loves pouring his own drink.
[I bought the plates at the dollar store (in a pack). I wanted to be able to wash them. These are clear, plastic plates. I used a fat Sharpie marker to write the number on the bottom of the plates.]