## Egg Carton Math by Teach Preschool

{ Please welcome Deborah from Teach Preschool who has come to my aid and offered this great activity for you all today so I could ( and did) have a mostly laptop free vacation with my family. If you aren’t familiar with Deborah’s blog Teach Preschool go now because it’s amazing. I wish I could be a fly on her classroom wall and just learn from her. }

Start by making sure you are using clean egg cartons. You might even run the egg cartons through the dishwasher if you have any doubts. Next, look around the house and gather up a few sets of small objects that will fit inside each egg cup…

I used small cars, buttons, pompoms, and soft blocks for my first set of egg carton math boxes and then set them out with the lids closed and just waited for my grandson to find them and want to open each of the cartons up to see what is inside…

As young children are given the opportunity to explore an open ended process such as egg carton math – they are being exposed to such mathematical concepts as sorting, matching, counting, subtracting, adding, comparing, and contrasting…

Perhaps the play looks like nothing more than putting something in and out of a box but if you look closely, you will see that the thinking wheels are turning and that is the first step towards genuine mathematical thinking…

To read more early learning tips from Deborah

Hop over to Teach Preschool!

## Hanging Out The Wash { Math & Fine Motor Skills}

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.

1. 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.
2. Start by painting numbers on your socks.  I let ours dry for 2 full days… just in case.
3. 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.
4. Set your clothesline up and pop the socks in the basket. Invite your little learner to hang out the wash.
5. 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.
6. So we switched things up and she was clearly thrilled.
7. I took all the pins off and put the socks on the line folded over.
8. 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.

I hate just recycling scrap wrapping paper after wrapping gifts. I’d much rather use it for crafts! I also like that this craft is a pretty fast one to set up and depending on your child’s abilities they can do this semi independently. I made lunch while my son did this , stopping only to take pictures and reign in his glue habit ( I would have used a glue stick if mine weren’t all dried up – must get some new ones).  One other thing I’d do differently – I’d use a larger piece of paper ( or smaller trees) so you could also make the squares larger, the small ones were at some times tricky to match up.

1. Gather your materials. You will need a large sheet of construction paper multiple scrap pieces of wrapping paper,a marker, scissors and glue.
2. Start by cutting your wrapping paper into 3 different trees .
3. cut the rest into square ‘gifts”
4. Glue the trees onto the paper.
5. Invite your child to sort and match!
6. Glue them on. Like I said a glue stick would be ideal but white glue worked.