Clothespins are some of my favorite tools for learning and this easy math activity uses them along with your child’s imagination and love of mundane adult things like hanging clean socks on the line. This number matching activity wasn’t easy for my daughter at first but after she got the hang of it it was a breeze. The turning point was folding the sock over the line and then she could pin it herself. This can be set up, played with and taken down over and over.
- Gather your materials. You will need some fabric paint, socks ( try the dollar store if you don’t have extras at home), some wired ribbon, marker, a basket, clothes pins and something to secure the ribbon to the wall.
- Start by painting numbers on your socks. I let ours dry for 2 full days… just in case.
- Write the numbers on your clothes pins. I did 2 sets one for my daughter and the other with simple equations for my son. He wasn’t into this activity “It’s kinda for little kids Mom.” so I will use this clothes pins for a “big kid” activity like this one instead.
- Set your clothesline up and pop the socks in the basket. Invite your little learner to hang out the wash.
- The way I had it set up originally required me to help her and it slowed things down and she was frustrated not being able to do it herself.
- So we switched things up and she was clearly thrilled.
- I took all the pins off and put the socks on the line folded over.
- Then she grabbed the matching pin and clipped it on. After that she was golden and quickly matched the numbers up. It took a lot of coordination to get the correct pin on.
My kids and I had a blast playing memory with this homemade memory game that we made with pictures of some of our favorite memories of 2012. As you will see both my kids played ( although they aren’t ready to play against each other yet – their gap in abilities is still too vast) and both loved not only beating mom ( I am terrible at this game) but also retelling stories about each picture and the memory that went with it. Oh and it’s so easy to make.
- Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, double stick tape, digital photos , scissors and marker.
- Choose 6 or more photos of favorite memories of 2012. You can print them out in a collage using a service like picmonkey.com or individually. Make sure you have 2 copies of each picture.
- Cut your pictures out. Mine are all black and white because I ran out of color ink not for any grand reason.
- Tape to the card stock.
- Cut out.
- I added the year on the back for fun. Also I plan on making this year after year.
- Time to play. First up was my wee one. I laid out 8 matches for her although I probably could have done 6.
- She loved seeing the photos of herself – her first day of school with her teacher was her favorite. The excitement was genuine when she made a match. She made six before she asked if she could play with her tea set Next time I will keep the number of cards lower.
- Then we set it up for my 6 year old. He got the whole deck and was eager to show off. He didn’t know what photos I chose for the game and was happy to recount the stories that went with many of the photos. His favorite was a photo of him playing with our contributing writer Kim’s son . He made matches so quickly and counted them up after each one. It was a perfect opportunity to skip count by two as well.
Happy New Year!
This is a simple activity with great cognitive benefits. Matching is the simplest form of finding patterns which is an important part of learning to organizing information. This is important for math and reading later on. Customize this to your child’s abilities by using colored foam like me to give an extra cue or use all the same color foam to make it harder.
- Gather your materials. You will need some foam circles, permanent markers and a pair of scissors.
- Draw some patterns. Make sure the marker is dry before handling it.
- Cut the circles in half.
- Invite your wee one . I had one half out for her and all the rest in a pile for her to choose from to make a match.
- If they need help ask if they see any of the same color .
- Celebrate every match!
Looking for a fun way to practice number recognition? Then look no further. Playing with these letter and number recognition puzzles is a fun way to get little fingers and mind active. This is an activity you will want to do ahead of time and have ready for the little ones.
Grab a piece of corrugated cardboard, a marker, and a pair of scissors. You can use posterboard or craft foam, but corrugated cardboard is so much thicker and it is easier for your child to see that they are matching the pieces up correctly.
Draw some leaves on the cardboard. Then draw a line through them. I like to do a squiggly line to help the pieces “lock” in together better. Now draw a number on one side of the leaf and dots corresponding to that number on the other side.
Cut out the leaves. This is the part where you will be glad you are not making these pieces with your children. Cutting the cardboard can be tricky because it is so thick.
You can also draw and cut out leaves with upper and lower case letters to match up.
*VARIATION- Math equations would offer a more challenging task for older siblings that want to join in the fun, too. For younger children (and ambitious caregivers) you could color the leaves for color matching.
Cut along the line you drew that divides the leaf.
Now divide your leaf pieces into two sections. One section with the numbers written on them and one section with the dots drawn on them, or upper case letters and lower case letters.
Watch your child match them up. It is fun to watch them match different ways each time. Sometimes my daughter would match by number recognition and then counting the dots. While other times she matched the shape of the leaves.
Any way they match is great practice for reasoning and logic skills. Putting the pieces together make great motor skill exercise, too.
Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
We have been talking a lot at our house about vegetables, fruits, and grains. My five year old son is very into healthy eating (he says it will make him a better ninja). To help explain a balanced diet to my three year old I made some felt food. I then decided to remake some felt food to help my toddler learn her colors and color matching. This easy kids craft activity evolved from that and has been a huge hit with all three kids.
You will need a piece of felt in any colors you would like (but be sure to grab a white one), marker, scissors, and glue.
Draw out strips of bacon, a small circle, and a piece of fruit that coordinates with the color you are using. We used blueberries for blue, strawberries for red, green grapes for green, purple grapes for purple, lemon for yellow, grapefruit for pink, and orange slice for orange. Draw all of these things as close together as you can on one side of the felt.
Draw some blobs on the white felt. These are going to be your eggs.
Cut everything out. Older children can easily do this, but my three year old had trouble getting the felt to cut.
Trim the empty side of your felt piece into a rectangle. This will be your plate (or placemat if you want to put a plate on top of it).
Glue on the small colored circles to the white egg pieces as the egg yolks.
We spread out our plates on the table. The girls had a blast yelling the colors out as they placed the plates. We also had to count and make sure there was enough for everyone.
Now match the colored pieces of food to the coordinating plates.
My toddler loved doing this part and would pretend to eat as she placed the food. It was so cute.
There was lots of cheering when we matched up everything.
My three year old and I talked about how eating just an egg probably wouldn’t give her all of the vitamins and energy she needs for her morning. We also talked about the importance of eating a fruit or a vegetable with each meal.
This activity is such a fun way to talk about food, color match, learn colors, work on motor skills, build teamwork, and the felt does make for fun sensory play.
.Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.