My husband loves math the way that I love art . When he talks about numbers his voices changes just a little bit the same way mine does when I start telling someone about the first time I saw a favorite painting in person. Well my son seems to be gearing more towards that side of things so I have been trying to come up with math activities that fit themes , have an art element if he wants to help me make them and most importantly are fun.
- Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll or two, some green painters tape , a black markers( one permenant and a regular washable one), drinking straws, stationary labels and scissors.
- Start by cutting your paper towel rolls into smaller tubes.
- Next color the top of the roll black. Just use a regular old marker.
- Next wrap green painters tape around the bottom of the rolls. Add faces with permenant marker, regular marker will smudge.
- Now cut the drinking straws into smaller pieces. Make sure they are long enough to be seen and grabbed above the rolls.
- Write numbers on the stationary labels. Make sure you write some numbers that are “easy” and many that are a challenge for them too. The balance of challenge and success builds their self confidence.
- Place the Frankensteins on the table with the labels infront. This do not stick to my table but I don’t want to be responsible for wrecking yours, so if you are worried pop down a placemat before the labels. If it’s too late try goo-gone that stuff is a preschool teacher’s secret weapon.
- Give your child the straws and let them count and fill! My son loved that he was putting brains into Frankenstein… nice eh?
- It was during this lesson that I introduced my son to double checking his work. Here he is counting a 2nd time.
- Peel the stickers off and put new ones on. Count and re-fill .
Halloween Counting Book
10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman is one of my favorite Halloween books and both my children love it. We’ve been reading it daily for a few weeks. The premise is simple, a group of trick or treaters are pegged off one by one as they are scared by some Halloween creature. Readers count down from 10 – 0 and enjoy the bright detailed illustrations as they do. I particularly like the cute costumes and the final page which has another countdown with candy – always fun to count candy right?
I get asked for craft ideas for older kids from time to time especially around holidays and special occasions like Halloween. When I picked up some sparkly sticky back foam I immediately knew I had to use it to make some kind of Frankenstein! I decided on a magnet because it can be used at home in the kitchen ( yay, no tape or push pins in the wall) , in a locker at school or wherever else you choose. It’s a fast craft for older kids and would work great as a Halloween party activity too.
- Gather your materials. You will need some green and black sparkly sticky back foam, scissors, 2 wiggly eyes, glue and a magnet. I recycle the free magnets we get as promotions for things like furnace repair and pizza parlors.
- Start by cutting out a face shape in the green foam. Remember to make the top flat.
- Glue the magnet on the back and set aside to dry.
- While that is drying cut the black foam into a rectangle as wide as the top of the head. Make cuts on one side to make spiky hair.
- Cut a long strip ( almost as wide as the chin of the monster) out of the black, and several smaller strips.
- Cut two triangles out of the black as well , snip the top point off.
- Start peeling the backings off. Only peel off as much as will be touching the green foam. Start with the hair add it to the face ( the glue should be dry enough to turn the face over without the magnet falling off, if it does pop it back on and wait.
- Next add the long strip ( the mouth) and the small strips across it.
- Add the ears ( well really they are bolts, but they are about where people’s ears are). Again only peel back the backing for the part that is touching the green foam.
- Glue on the eyes. Let dry completely.
Your little ghoul too young for this craft? Try our preschooler friendly Paper Roll Frankenstein instead.
Monster Mess! by Margery Cuyler is a silly rhyming book about a monster who isn’t interested in scaring you, but rather cleaning up your messes. Readers follow along as the monster creeps through the house finding messes and tidying up. I personally loved it when the monster stepped on blocks, who reading this with kids hasn’t stepped on toys like Lego and screamed in pain?! I know I do, a lot so that part resonated with me . The illustrations by S.D. Schindler are done at funky angles and perspectives and adds a lot to the text. It’s not scary at all and a great monster choice for more fearful kids.
Molly’s Monsters by Teddy Slater is a counting book in monster’s clothes. The book is about a little girl named Molly who is just trying to sleep when her room is flooded with monsters. They come in progressively larger groups and my son liked counting to make sure the text was correct. My favorite part was that the first monster to arrive and the last to leave , never does leave and instead snuggles into bed with Molly. I also like that to get these pesky visitors to leave she turns on the light and makes a scary face and scares them. Clever.
When a Monster Is Born by Sean Taylor is funny, my son didn’t find it as funny as I did but he still laughed and didn’t seem scared any of it. The story is about a monster and all the life changing choices he faces every day like whether to eat a principal or run through a wall of a school. This book feels like a choose your own adventure book, it’s fun , repetitive and silly. There is quite a bit of talk about monsters eating people , though nothing too gory.
Earth Friendly Monster !
My son is almost 3 and not only very into Frankenstein , he is also in the bathroom all the time. Potty training has been pretty painless but it seems like we are always in the potty, so naturally I came up with a Halloween craft using a toilet paper roll! You could use paint for better coverage, we are out of black paint so we used markers. What I love about this is that when you are done Frankenstein can stand all on his own !
- Gather your materials. You will need a toilet paper roll, a black marker and/or paint, green marker or paint, googly eyes, glue , 2 golf tees and scissors.
- Start by drawing a line on the roll to mark where the hair will start.
- Color the top part black , a trick I did with my son so he stayed in the lines , was to have him hold the other side and cover it with his hand while he colored. Worked great!
- Color the other half green.
- Add a mouth with black marker.
- Add glue for the eyes.
- Add the googly eyes.
- Poke holes in the side for the golf tees.
- Have your child put the tees in.
- Cut the black part with scissors, multiple times for make hair. This is a good chance for cutting practice since there is no need to be exact, simply make cute into the roll.
- We added stitches along the smile after cutting with the black marker. Enjoy!