The Pigeon Counts! Game

Here’s a simple math game you can use as a book-tivity with any of the Pigeon books by Mo Willems. The newest Pigeon book was released today, April 1st! The new book is called The Pigeon Needs a Bath! (this is an Amazon affiliate link).

Pigeon Counting Game

To play this game you will need some small cubes, such as linking cubes, or a similar manipulative. You could also use lima beans. You will need to print out the Pigeon, which you can find on coloring sheets available at (I am not able to provide a printable for this due to copyright.) Coloring sheets can be found in the Teachers’ Guides on the Grown Up Stuff section of Pigeon Presents. “The Duckling Gets a Cookie Event Kit” and “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy Event Kit” both have Pigeon coloring pages.

coloring sheet for the pigeon math game

Color and cut around the pigeon’s outline and laminate if you choose.¬†Give each child about 10 cubes. The cubes will need to fit in their hand(s), so use something that isn’t too large.

To play the game, children will drop a handful of cubes onto the Pigeon. They will count how many cubes landed on the Pigeon and how many cubes are off. (If it lands on the white part of the paper, but off the pigeon, we still consider it “on”.) You could have them compare to see which has the most cubes: on or off. You could also have children record their answers by writing the numeral on a dry erase board or paper. Children who are not yet able to write the numbers could stamp them if you have a set of number stamps.

Math with Mo Willems' Pigeon

This game could be adapted to work with any storybook character or any theme by using a different clipart image.


  1. Emilia says

    Thanks very much for this math activity and for all the informations you are making available for us.

  2. Sandy G says

    Karen, I love the updated website! Thanks again for sharing your great ideas. A year into preschool and I am still grasping for ideas to run smoothly. Your site is on of my fave top 2 go – to sites! Thanks again!

  3. Anne says

    Hello from France !
    I’ve discovered your website looking for interesting activities for my disabled students.
    And I find your ideas welldone.

    Thank you for your sharing.
    Read you soon !!

  4. says

    Simple & cute! I like the idea of having my pre-kers write the numbers after they count the manipulatives! We are working on teen number right now, but I’m sure I can find a bigger picture of a ‘famous’ character that will engage them and maybe use smaller manipulatives! Thanks so much for another wonderful idea!


  5. sajlaa faiq says

    Hello Karen, Thank you for your wonderful ideas I am very impressed by, but I need you to help if possible can you give me new ideas for the development of micro muscle to kindergarten children ** with my gratitude and appreciation

  6. Linda says

    Thank you so much for the weekly activities, the prekinder teachers at my campus implement them immediately! Looking forward for many wonderful ideas!

  7. Olaide Adeyemo says

    Great motivation for counting. Fun activity plus competition would move kids to participate and learn to count. Thanks Karen.

  8. ora says

    You are #1! This is the best website ever. I have beem teaching for over 30 plus years, and I am always amazed in what I see.

  9. Catherine Geraghty says

    Hi greetings from Ireland, your a fab website – currently getting pre schoolers ready for the big day so all your activities are really helpful – cheers Catherine

  10. Nancy Pittman says

    I also teach (NC) PreK. I love the simplicity of your activities. Also the availability of the things you use. The children are able to do these without feeling overwhelmed. Then they add to them too. Thank you

  11. Robin says

    Love this idea! I’ve seen this called an “On/Off game” at a Ga Pre k workshop. I’ve done this with Carson Dellosa cutout notepad sheets and table scatter, larger confetti cutouts and shaped erasers. We use a small plastic cup to hold the pieces. It’s fun with holiday themed objects, also.

  12. zahida says

    Hi Karen
    I stumbled upon your site and have loved reading all the stuff. Hope to implement in my class as the need arises.

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful ideas,

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