The direction of object enumeration reflects children’s enculturation but previous work on the development of such spatial preferences has been inconsistent. Therefore, we documented directional preferences in finger counting, object counting, and picture naming for children (4 groups from 3 to 6 years, N = 104) and adults (N = 56). We found a right-side preference for finger counting in 3- to 6-year-olds and a left-side preference for counting objects and naming pictures by 6 years of age. Children were consistent in their special preferences when comparing object counting and picture naming, but not in other task pairings. Finally, spatial preferences were not related to cardinality comprehension. These results, together with other recent work, suggest a gradual development of spatial-numerical associations from early non-directional mappings into culturally constrained directional mappings.