It is amazing how well behaved dogs will sit with a treat on their nose knowing that they will soon get their treat. This same discipline seems to work with my son; he only eats his dinner so that he can get to his dessert.
We started just eating some M&Ms for dessert but before we ate them we had a bit of fun that you could also try.
First take a handful of M&Ms and let your child sort them and count them by color. Then depending on age take only a few groups so that they total about 25.
Take the remaining and form a stash pile. Now we group them like we are doing multiplication. Ask them to make groups of 5...see how many they can make. Once they make 5 groups of 5...their reward...they get to eat 5 M&Ms.
Now they need to make groups of 4. Challenge them to do it and see how many groups of 4 they make. Now they get to eat 2 M&Ms.
How many groups of 3 can they make? How many groups of 6 can they make? How many groups of 2 can they make? Now I offer 2 M&Ms from the stash every time they have to form a new group without left-overs. Now they get another 2 M&Ms
Continue back to groups of 4, 8, and 2 as well as taking away another 2 each time.
My son fell asleep when I was reading him a story and I said to him how proud I was of him and how great he did during the M&M game. He then started counting in his sleep. If he loves math as much as chocolate...look out! Try it with your own kids and let me know how it goes.