Make and Count Ladybugs

This number activity combines  number recognition, counting and one to one correspondence. All preschool math skills that are the building blocks for learning addition, subtraction and more complicated operations. This activity is easy to make simpler by reducing how many bugs you use, and using smaller numbers.  If your child has mastered these skills make the bugs into equations. Write 2+4 on the bug and have them use the dots as manipulatives and solve the equation with them!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some black, red and yellow construction paper, a marker, googly eyes and glue. I also used a piece of cardboard to anchor all 4 bugs. Preschool Math Activity
  2. Start by drawing the outline of a lady bug on one of the colored sheets of construction paper. Preschool Math Activity
  3. Cut out all 4 bugs and glue on the cardboard, add smiles if you want!Preschool Math Activity
  4. Cut out black dots for the bugs, after step 5 you may need to cut a few extra out but I found it easier to keep the activity flowing than make my son wait while I cut out the exact numbers he chose. We had a few left overs actually.  Preschool Math Activity
  5. Ask your child to choose a number for each bug. By letting your child choose the numbers it gives them some control which I am sure you agree is a great thing for preschoolers! Write the numbers out on each bug. If your child is able, have them write the number even if it’s huge and messy encourage them to try! Preschool Math Activity
  6. Add glue and the dots to each bug. Have your child count out the number as they add the glue. If your child needs some help with counting , do the glue yourself so your child is simply matching up the dots to the glue. Preschool Math Activity
  7. Encourage your child to count out loud as they add the dots, especially with preschoolers who have a tendency to skip numbers if they are counting out loud, you can intervene and encourage them to start again.  Use gentle corrections and lots of praise. By adding the dots one and a time this encourages one to one correspondence naturally. Preschool Math ActivityPreschool Math Activity
  8. After all the spots have been added to the bugs add glue for the googly eyes. Preschool Math Activity
  9. Add the eyes and let dry. Preschool Math Activity

Need a book about bugs to continue this lesson?

Bug Books!

Number Match Game

Preschool Number Match Game

Numbers are a big deal around here right now. What we liked about math game was that even though we made it a little complicated, you could easily simplify it for even younger kids ( simply write numbers out and have them find the ones you call out)or more challenging for older more advanced mathematicians. (Have them find 2 at a time and add together).  Our goal for numbers right now is to work on counting things to discover the amount and match that amount with the numbers he already recognizes. If your child’s goal is different adjust as needed!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some different colored paper, a marker , scissors ( we actually ripped the paper) and some floor space.Preschool Number Lesson
  2. Start by folding your paper in 4, so that 2 numbers will both be that color. This just makes it easier, I am using the colors as a clue to help my son but not give away the answer either.
  3. Write numbers in one square and make the corresponding amount of drawings in the other. Number Match Game
  4. Cut or rip apart. Number Match Game
  5. Place either the papers with the numbers or the ones with the numbers around in a circle face up.Number Match Game
  6. Fan out the others in your hand and invite your child to choose one by asking for the color.  Number Match Game
  7. Hand it to them, if it’s a number ask them to identify it and find it’s match. For the lower numbers my son grabbed the right one immediately, for larger ones he would grab the matching colors then we would count them together to discover which was the correct match. I had to help him touch each star on the larger numbers so that he wouldn’t count them twice, this just takes time and good modeling so don’t get frustrated or worried if your child does hit, just lead by example.Number Match Game Number Match Game
  8. We played the game 2 times once with the numbers in the circle , once with the stars in the circle – learning is hard work, so we had to pretend to be a clock after! Number Match Game

Books

museum 123

Museum 123 by The Metropolitan Museum Of Art is another simple but beautiful counting book.  What I love about this book is that the number is not on the same page as the onbjects/images the child is being asked to count. Instead a simple question of how many is followed by a painting with the objects, and the next page has a large number. My son loved counting then flipping the page exclaiming ” I knew it , I said that number I was right!” My only complaint is that it only went to 10!

Construction Countdown by K.C Olson is a counting book that uses backhoes, dump trucks and cement mixers among other things to count. Before I even closed the book my son was signing for more. I read it 4 times since getting it out of the library today. A huge hit here!

Edited for 2010 : I wrote that review nearly 2 years ago. The other day at the library my son grabbed the book and begged to read it again. At 3 he still loved the book and I still give it a huge thumbs up!

1 2 3

One, Two, Three by Tom Slaughter is super simple, bold, bright and a great counting book!  These aren’t complex books, pictures matter because they should encourage the reader to want to count and connect the number they have counted with the number printed on the page.  I would happily recommend this book to families with babies through preschoolers , my 3 year old loved it and partly because he read all the pictures and numbers himself!

Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me A …

Match !

Here are three variations of matching games that we have been doing and loving recently. They all reinforce colors but using ice tongs for one will help develop the all important pincer grasp , the bean bag game helps with gross motor and the egg one rolls in a Easter theme! Also counting can be added in to each for extra credit !


Pinching Pom Poms

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a divided chip and dip platter or individual bowls. Some scrap paper that matches your pom poms, some tape and ice tongs.
  2. Cut the paper into pieces that fit into the platters sections, leave the middle blank, it will be the starting point for the pom poms.
  3. Place the pom poms into the middle
  4. Start matching, if the tongs are frustrating them , have them do it with their hands.

Easter Egg Match

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cheap Easter eggs, a bowl for the eggs to start out in, one container for each egg( mine are old blueberry containers) and matching paper for each color of egg.
  2. Cut the paper so they line the bottom of the small containers.
  3. Invite your child to come to the table and start matching.
  4. Praise and celebrate their success !

Toss & Match

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some colored bean bags, and some colored construction paper. You could also use laundry baskets with colored towels in them for a target or anything that is obviously the same color.
  2. Start tossing the bean bags to the target. Toddlers will probably walk up naturally but older children can be challenged to throw the bean bag from a distance, just pop some painters tape on the carpet for them to stay behind.
  3. Start with just a few colors for little guys and work up to many for older children.
Have Fun !

St. Patrick’s Day – Lucky Gold Hunt

I read on a message board that had posted my link that one mom was disappointed that I don’t have more non art activities, so here you go ! This is mess free, fun and so easy to make more challenging for older children , or easy as pie for the little guys. My son and I played this from the time he got up from nap until dinner was on the table . I have a feeling we’ll be playing it tomorrow too! Oh and if there is something specific you would like to see us try- let me know I am always open to new things .
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some play coins, a marker and a green piece of paper. * For really little guys instead of the paper you can just use a change purse and simply have them hunt for the coins.
  2. Trace the coins on the paper
  3. Fill in the numbers, we are doing 10 coins but customize this for your child, more or less whatever works. Make it challenging but not impossible. Having the numbers offers up different options for how to play , you can simply hunt for the coins, and place them on the numbers. You can hunt for them then have your child specifically put them on the number you designate. I tried both and my son liked to choose which numbers to pop the coin on then count them and start over.
  4. Hide the gold. Can you see it in my picture? Make it obvious at first, with little guys make sure it’s in plain view, the goal isn’t to be a better hider than they are a finder, it’s for them to find them feel pride in it, then tag on a little math too !
  5. Go searching for the lucky gold .
  6. Count your gold , and start again !

 

How Do I Love Thee?

Let Me Count The Ways !

Using things like candy for math activities is a fun and novel way to get your children interested and learning. Jennifer over at Ramblings of A Crazy Woman shows us how to make this perfectly lovely Valentine’s counting game using heart candies! For the full how to and a million more awesome ideas head over to her blog:

Ramblings Of A Crazy Woman