I use what I have to teach my son and for this game I used tea bags. I love tea and these bags were so colorful that they were the perfect available manipulative. Have you ever seen how expensive math manipulatives are? You can use legos for this, fun colorful cut outs or even marbles ( provided your child is past the “I’ll pop that in my mouth” stage).
- Gather your materials. We are using 5 different colors of tea bag packages, berry cartons ( 5) a bowl to hold all of the tea bags to start with and I made number cards 2-6 for the berry cartons.
- Start by talking about how some of the tea bags match and how you have to group the matching ones together.
- Count the matching tea bags.
- Find the correct carton with the number . And pop them in !
- Keep going! If your child is frustrated by too many steps, scale it back. Simply group the colors. Ditch the numbers and matching them up, if they are still game after that count the piles. The next time you play see if they are ready to take it to the next level and match the counted number with the written number in the carton. If not don’t push. Make this fun, they will get there when they are ready. In the mean time even if all they do is match up colors they are still practicing math skills, matching and color recognition so do not stress.
- For really reluctant mathematicians try using something they love like matchbox cars, Polly pockets, legos… be creative and you will be shocked at how receptive they may be.
Need more math activities? What about math books?