When my son was just 5 he came up with this one on his own …. Cracker Math! Using Ritz crackers and sliced turkey rolls, he created his own math equation. The fun can really ADD up! There are lots of playful ways you can help your children learn about numbers. Here are a few we have tried …
For the Muffin Tin number sort all you need is a muffin tin and magnetic numbers (actually any numbers would work … you could use foam or even just write them on paper!) I placed the one of each number in its own “muffin cup” and then had my daughter (who was 3 at the time) match up the remaining magnets to the correct cup.
I used an ice cube tray (it just happened to be a Mickey Mouse one!), a washable marker, and (yup, you guessed it …) CHEERIOS. In each space I wrote one number and then had my daughter place that amount of Cheerios in the space. It’s fun, easy, and can include a bit of snacking too!
Using pipe cleaners, duct tape, and beads you can easily create an activity to help kids learn to count AND get a bit of fine-motor skills practice. I’ve seen tons of variations of this activity on Pinterest, but I think it originated from Kids Matter.
Candy Sorting, Counting, and Graphing. We did this activity around Valentine’s Day with Conversation Heart candies, but it could be done with any type of small candy that is different colors and comes in a small package (like M&Ms, Skittles, gummy bears, or Smarties). I used a sheet of aluminum foil just for something different that day, but regular paper would be just fine. All we did is open up the package, sort the candies by color, count how many we had of each color, and then line them up into a graph.
And one of our very favorite ways to have fun with math I posted awhile ago … the Dot Dabber Dice Game. Follow the link for the complete instructions!
Laura Hutchison (aka PlayDrMom) is a chubby kid turned competitive figure skater tween turned high school pom pon girl turned MSU Spartan turned grad student turned Mrs. HutcH turned Dr. turned Mom. She adores living in the Mitten, is addicted to Diet Coke, and firmly believes that ice cream is a main food group.