Isn't it amazing how different children's personalities can be?! When B was 3 he was interested in any learning activity or game and when we were done he would want to play again. N will play the game with me or do the activity, but when we are done she says "Now can we play babies?". She is more interested in pretend play (kitchen, store, babies, princesses, and Doc McStuffins are popular right now) so I've had to get creative in how I sneak in learning.
I don't always try to sneak in structured learning while we are playing because kids learn so much through play anyway, but every now and then an opportunity presents itself and the teacher in me can't pass it up.
She asked me if I wanted to cook with her (using her colored rice sensory tub). I sat down with her and we added "ingredients" to the muffin tin.
"First, we need 1 scoop of flour."
"Next, we need 2 teaspoons of cinnamon."
"3 pinches of salt."
"4 huge scoops of sugar."
"Last we need 5 chocolate chips."
It was the perfect opportunity to practice counting with her and have fun doing it!