It’s Pajama Day tomorrow in my class, and I wanted to create a new tray activity with a nighttime theme that my students could use in multiple ways. In early childhood classrooms, abilities and interests vary so widely that to engage as many learners as possible with the same material takes some serious flexibility. This printable math game is great because children eager and ready to work on one to one correspondence skills can do just that by rolling the die and placing the same about of stars onto the printable, Children not yet ready or interested in counting can match up the star erasers to the star shapes on the tray. Matching skills are being developed either way, as are fine motor and hand-eye coordination ones. No matter how a child uses this math game activity, they will be learning.
How to Make This Math Game for Preschool
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Gather your materials. You will need this FREE printable ( print here), a dry erase die, dry erase markers, a tray, and star erasers. Click the links to find these supplies online.
Start by printing out the jar of hearts printable – Get yours here.
Next, draw either stars or write numbers on your dice. I am doing 1-3 stars for my students, but write what works best for your students.
Place the star erasers in a bowl and set it out for your students.
Keep rolling and covering.
How to Differentiate this math game for Prek and Kindergarten
To make this more challenging, you can write equations on the dry erase dice. You can use two standard dice and have children add or subtract the two numbers and then place that amount of star erasers. You could even add letters on the stars on the printable and put letters on the dry erase dice to turn this into a literacy game.
Books About Stars and Space
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Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle is often not read in classrooms simply because of a depiction of a naked man and woman. It’s not what most parents expect to find in an Eric Carle book, but it is very fitting in this beautiful and really touching book. The story, although very similar to a biblical creation story isn’t necessarily reflective only of a Christian viewpoint, to me, it’s about the author’s own creation. It begins and ends with a star, and hits all the right points in between.
Penguinaut by Marcie Colleen was sent to me by the publisher, and I am so glad it was. It’s such a sweet story about thinking outside of the box, about having dreams bigger than anyone lets you have, and persistence! Also, how goofy is a penguin in space? If you want to teach your students that anything is possible, read this book to them.
On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl was a great find, my son loved counting down from 12-1 with the bright illustrations, simple text, and hidden numbers on each page. Something that seems simple but was really impressive was that each page had the number written as a word, shown as a digit, and as dots to count. You can take the time to count each dot, read the word, or recognize the number!
For even more books about stars and space, read the whole list here.
Have you read Star in the Jar by Sam Hay? It is a beautiful book and would work perfectly with this activity. Thanks for all of your great ideas!