UFO Math Tray Activity {FREE PRINTABLES}

math tray actiities preschool  space themeFor a while now my daughter has been writing out numbers on anything she can. My mother’s day card included the numbers from 1-10 after her name. I had a feeling her next question would be how to read and spell the number words. I  was right. For days, she asked me how to spell the words and I would reply with what do you think? That worked a few times, but it eventually frustrated her. I wrote out the words for her and she used it as reference. Soon she was recognizing the words in stories so when I saw these little aliens I knew I wanted to use them for counters and I decided to make two sets of number mats for this tray activity one with digits and one with the number words. The reason I am telling you this long drawn out story is to illustrate that this activity followed her lead. There is no rush to teach specific concepts like this but don’t ignore your child interests either. Print both out and use them as they fit with your child. If you can’t find these little alien guys you can laminate the cards and draw them on with dry erase markers!

Gather your materials. You will need the UFO Math mat cards, some alien counters, scissors, and contact paper or a laminator ( you lucky dog!).math mat UFO

Print out the UFO Math Mats here – click on the image, save, and print.

Digits  1-4

ufo number cards digits 1

 

 

 

 

5-8

ufo digits 2

 

9-12

ufo digits 3

Number Words

one – four

ufo number cards

 

two – eight

ufo number cards sheet 2

 

nine – twelve  ufo number cards sheet 3

Print them out. If you think your child needs more support with counting add dots to the mats with a marker before you laminate or use contact paper to protect them. Cut out.free printable math tray activity

Pop them on the tray with the little aliens ( did I mention these glow in the dark? ).math tray activity

Read and count. UFO math I didn’t give her all the mats just a mix to play with.UFO math printables

After she counted them out she tried to balance them and  make towers with them too.

alien math for kids

BOOV Passwords – FREE Secret Code Printable

FREE printable secret code activity inspired by the movie HOME! Perfect for a birthday party of family movie night!Have your seen the movie HOME ? My kids LOVED it when we watched it over spring break. Like all resourceful parents, I decided to use that love to get my son to do something he’s not totally in love with – handwriting. Every little bit of practice helps and it’s even better when it doesn’t feel like practice at all! In the movie saving the world depends on the BOOV ( the aliens) hacking into one of their citizen’s email accounts. I decided to go with the hacking theme because it fit so well with the movie and it appeals to an 8 year old who does not want to be doing “Baby activities for the blog, only cool stuff OK mom?” <— not a direct quote but you get the idea.

I plan on printing this activity out again after the movie is released on DVD ( this summer) and we watch it for family movie night!

This FREE secret code printable was a hit, but it was challenging too! This would be perfect for a HOME themed birthday party too!

To print out click on the image below, save to your computer, and then print.

hack the passwords

Gather your materials. You will need the printable ( see above) and a pencil with a great eraser.

 

Print out and invite your future hacker to the table. HOME inspired secret code FREE printable

It wasn’t SUPER easy, but even little little ones can do it with help.

writing passwords

All done!

password HOME inspired free printable

Finding simple little ways to work literacy into play time with your school age kids is a great way to brush up on skills without adding pressure to their already busy lives. This is a great rainy day, sick day, or family movie night activity, and according to my son it passed the cool test!

 

Find more ideas for school age kids here –>   FUN FOR SCHOOL AGE KIDS on PINTEREST oh and here –>  LEARNING AFTER SCHOOL

 

LEGO Game – Roll, Build, and Create!

DIY LEGO game for kids LEGO is huge at our house. Even if some of their marketing to girls efforts miss the mark ( did you read this?), the toy is still amazing for boys and girls. LEGO is creative as well as great for spatial and fine motor skills. This LEGO game is super simple and my kids play it often building on to their creations or making new ones. What I love about this game that wasn’t really part of the design was that it’s a great way to kickstart LEGO creations. When kids feel like building but don’t know what to build this game acts as kindling and helps start the fire for bigger ideas. Of course players are also working on subitizing skills ( recognizing amounts without counting – on dominoes, dice, tally marks etc…)  and number recognition. If that is your goal you could use multiple dice for older children and have the add or subtract and match up the sum or difference to the numbered sections. It’s so versatile!

Gather your materials. You will need some LEGO or DUPLO , a divided tray or individual bowls, a die, and a permanent marker.

lego game for kids

Write the numbers 1-6 on the divided tray. Don’t worry you can use a dry erase marker to remove the permanent marker when you are done playing. boost creativity with lego

Fill the sections of your tray with different types of LEGO bricks. You can have your children help you sort them as well. Sorting is an important skill so any time you have to practice is worthwhile. I included a lot of mini figures because in my experience kids tend to create more stories with the figures and my daughter loves to make stories with her LEGO.

lego game for children

Once they are all sorted it’s time to play. Use the center section to roll the die and whatever number they roll is the type of brick they get to build with. lego game for preschool

She was into it immediately.lego games for kids Soon she had an audience and hearing her explain the game to her dad was awesome. lego game for families Understanding multiple steps is important and when she taught her dad she had all the steps down pat! LEGO roll and build math game

One of the great things about this activity is that there is no strict ending point. Kids can stop when they feel their creation is complete or pop it to the side and come back another day. Ours is STILL in our sunroom two weeks after getting it out. I find both my kids playing with it most days.

 

Spring Break Bucket List { FREE PRINTABLE }

spring breka bucket list My kids an I were writing out all the ideas we had for spring break and I decided to pop them all into a fun spring break bucket list to share with all of you. Our winter break bucket list was a huge hit and if you are still in the middle of snowy weather – you might want to print it out instead.  My kids are 4 and 8 which is a pretty good age range for this list as well. Everything on the list are things that BOTH my kids will have fun doing.

spring break bucket list for kids

Click on the image above ( yes the one right above here) , save to your computer, and print!

What would you or your children add to the list?

Shamrock Number Line Scavenger Hunt

number line activity This number line scavenger hunt activity took only minutes to throw together and while we used shamrocks for a St.Patrick’s Day theme you could do this any time of year with any theme your child likes.  If they are still learning number order write the numbers on the tape and have them match the numbers, if 20 is too much try with 5 , 10 or 15. This is such an easy activity to adjust to your child’s ability and to repeat over and over. This would be a fun group activity as well, have each child search for one number and place it on the line.

Gather your materials. You will need something to write numbers on like foam shamrocks, shapes, or post it notes. You will also need some painter’s tape and a marker. st. patrick's day math

Start by writing your numbers on the shapes. number line activity

Next lay out the tape and write the first and the last number, for us that was 1 and 20. Make dots of write the numbers in between. math activities

Hide the numbers all around your house! math activity for preschool

Invite your little mathematician to search for the numbers and place them on the line. Give them a hand if needed but also give them time to figure it out on their own best they can before you step in.

She searched for a handfulmath scavenger hunt then placed them on the number line and then went back for more. math scavenger hunt

I never get bored of watching my children or my students make great connections and I was wowed watching my youngest find the right spots of all these numbers without any help . math activity for children

She thought she had found them all but there were a few missing. A quick trip into the kitchen and she popped them right on the line! math activity

All done and pretty darn proud ! number line