This activity was inspired by my Halloween candy counting over at my other blog. Seeing how resistant my son is to writing tells me one thing, that he needs to practice lots, but it needs to be within activities he loves. This is a math activity with gross motor and some writing on a vertical surface which is great for beginning writers because it forces the correct wrist position and strengthens the correct muscles in the hand and arm.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( I get this craft paper in the mailing supply section of Walmart, way cheaper than real butcher paper), markers and something to put the paper on the wall with. I use painter’s tape, and I use a lot, so my toddler doesn’t pick it off.
- Draw a house.
- Decide what things you want to count and write them on. I made the windows and doors spots to write the numbers in.
- Invite your counter to read the questions on the poster.
- Count !
- Come back and fill in the answers.
- I wish I had a magic wand for my son to make him believe in his ability to write, to know that he doesn’t have to be perfect and to understand that just because reading is easy doesn’t mean that writing should be or that there is anything wrong because it’s hard. So instead we are doing lots of fun writing… and hoping we turn the corner gently on his terms if possible. He likes to “split the work” so I made sure we were counting some things with two digits, I’d do one or make dots for him, and he’d do the other. I don’t think it’s worth it to push to frustration, instead finding ways to make him willing is more my style.
- Search your house poster to see which question has the biggest number and which is the smallest.
On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl was a great find, my son loved counting down from 12-1 with the bright illustrations, simple text, and hidden numbers on each page. Something that seems simple but was really awesome was that each page had the number written as a word, shown as a digit and as dots to count. You can take the time to count each dot, read the word or simply recognize the digit!
1, 2, Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines is a wonderful first counting book and a favorite of my daughter. The text is the simple rhyme; the pictures are photos of quilted numbers and buttons. The buttons correspond to the numbers and are so bright that they practically beg a child to touch and count them. My daughter who is 14 months loves to push the buttons, trace the numbers and laughs at the hen. Very sweet book.
How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000? by Helen, Nolan has been sitting patiently on my shelf waiting for my son to be ready to read it. I used this in a math unit when I was a student teacher and absolutely love this book. The whole concept of this book is to explain the concept of 1000. We often teach our kids to count to 100 but don’t pay the same attention to getting them from 100-1000. This book takes it to the next step and demystifies the huge number 1000. It’s interesting; it uses examples kids can relate too, and it gives many scenarios so those cogs turning in your child’s head has lots of chances to catch! I read it to my son for the first time yesterday, and I loved being there for those moments when I know he just got it!