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

Alien Dress Up

Aliens are super cool and combining a craft with pretend play is even cooler. We love dress up at our house ( and preschool) and this alien headband craft was created to use as a pretend play prop. I suggested my son glue eyes on the band but he was very adamant that they needed to be up high on antennae. Even though I have directions you can follow this is the sort of craft that is best used as inspiration for your own unique creation.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, paint, glue, sparkly pipe cleaners, sticky back sparkly foam, googly eyes, tape and glitter!
  2. Start by having your child paint the paper. This will be cut in two strips to make the headband. Tell your child you will be cutting it, this can really upset young kids if they aren’t warned. I like using either a foam paint brush or paint markers like these when we want the paint to dry fast.
  3. While they paint, trace a circle 6 times on the backing of the sparkly foam.
  4. Cut out.
  5. Glue the googly eyes on.  Let dry.
  6. Next cut the paper in half.
  7. Add glue and glitter. You want to do it after your cut  not before so that you aren’t cutting into glue and glitter. Trust me glitter is messy enough, but cleaning it out of scissors is no fun. Let dry.
  8. Cut your pipe cleaners into different heights.
  9. When eyes are dry ( or at least dry enough not to slide, peel off the backing of the 3 foam circles that do not have googly eyes on them. Press the pipe cleaners into them.
  10. Peel the back off the circles with eyes , press into the circles with the pipe cleaners so they are sandwiched.
  11. When the glitter is dry tape the pipe cleaners with eyes on the front of  one strip. You will want it near the end because you are going to tape the other strip on top to sandwich them.
  12. Size it to your child’s noggin’ and secure the two ends with tape. I like using tape for 2 reasons. It’s forgiving and it’s fast, so kids can play right away.

Books


The Way Back Home
by Oliver Jeffers is a moving story about a boy , a martian and the moon they were both stuck on. Together they figure out a way to get back home even though they are so sad to say goodbye to each other. I love this author, I love his illustrations as well, they are so unique and the emotion he manages to convey is amazing. There is an illustration of the boy and martian standing awkwardly before they have to say goodbye and it embodies the emotion. Grab anything written by this author and you will be happy!

Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk is a quirky updated version of the classic lullaby. So many bedtime books are super sugary but this one is funky and bright! I love the space theme and the illustrations are great! The rhymes are funny and kept my son interested in the lullaby much longer than the traditional one which he deems a “baby song”.

Moon Man by Tomi Ungerer is an odd, heartwarming, entertaining story. My son loves this story about the man on the moon who wants to be a part of the action on earth and decides to visit himself. Of course as is the custom on earth we are afraid of outsiders and he is thrown in jail. Luckily as he goes through the phases he manages to slip out through the bars.He finds someone to help him return home where he belongs, even though he is sad to go. I couldn’t help but think of ET… but that’s just me.