Playing with counting, let your student understand that the positional system is the same everywhere. Count up and down starting from different quantities and naming them as you go. Prevent and destroy the fear of big numbers instigated at school.
Next exercise is to count forward a number of times. Count through a given quantity of 1s and stop when all of them are spent. Adding 3 to 5, we take 1 from the number above the position and put another token on top of the stack until we have no 1s to add. Playing with your toy, give the student a bunch of tokens, then form a line of tokens to be added.
Click to start counting. You can also do it step by step.