Now this is exploring numbers!! and when someone asks you what happened to 8, you just say you 8 it up!! Just found this yummy learning and kindergarten readiness activity on Deborah’s TeachPreschool blog using M & M’s.
Using a bowl of small things like Cheerios, fishy crackers, Shreddies and M & M’s let your child count, sort and match.Which color has the most? How many purples are there? (None, there are no purple M & M’s.) Some colors make a really long line, some just a short line.
I made a quick chart for a pair of little hands to make lots of numbers. Lots of exploration of numbers is needed for kids to develop number sense. Some children may notice that as numbers get bigger and bigger lines get longer and longer as well. Others may see that each number is one more. Children will learn these concepts as they are ready by building on all their previous experiences with numbers. As kids make brain connections they are also developing readiness for what they will do in kindergarten.
After some counting fun, your child may just want to make some designs. This is part of number fun too. 8 (ate) is my favorite number. What’s yours?
Why was the number 6 afraid of the number 7? Because 7 ate(8) 9!
While 7 isn’t a scary number, it does seem to be different from the others. It’s easy to work and play with smaller numbers and hands have a number 5 built right in. Dice, basic colors, small egg cartons and other things come in 6. 8 is easy to do, just tuck in the thumbs using 4 fingers on each hand and there is 8. All 10 fingers is a snap and 9 is taking only 1 away. But 7 is definitely tricky.
Some things do come in 7. There are 7 days of the week, Snow White and the 7 dwarfs, and 7 musical notes (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do). And 7 can be magical. Once children grasp how many is 7 –“sevenness”– it seems that they have figured out how numbers work and they learn more numbers much quicker. I have not found any research to support this; it is my own observation from working with little ones.
Like other readiness for kindergarten skills, your child may or may not be ready to connect 7 with it’s quantity. Some play and discovery with 7 will give your child experience with this number and help build understanding and number sense. Ways to explore 7 might include counting 7 buttons on a shirt, making a tower of 7 yogurt containers (more might show up), or putting 7 spoons in the dishwasher. You may want to wear off some energy by asking your little one to jump 7 times or hop. Is 7 giant steps enough to go from the kitchen to the bedroom? How far can your child go taking 7 baby steps? 7 slices of banana may be just right to eat.
Kindergarten readiness grows over time, just like our kids do. And isn’t it magical how children develop and learn? What magic did you do today with 7 or other numbers?
I knew I had a couple of empty egg cartons but I couldn’t find them earlier today. I saw this handy hint of using them to hold breakable Christmas decorations so they are already stored away. Luckily I found something else to use for number 6–a muffin baking pan–for this learning and kindergarten readiness idea.
Exploring numbers is a fun activity for little ones about age 2 and up. Lots and lots of experiences are needed for children to build their understanding of numbers or number sense. A muffin tin, small egg carton or half a big one are perfect for discovering “sixness”. How many is 6? Let your little one put 1 block in each section. That’s 6. Your child can dump them out and try it with 1 animal in each part. Another 6. Toy cars, action figures, playdough balls or other small objects can be used as your child makes groups of 6.
Your child may be not be able to correctly count to 6 but just putting an item in each space and seeing what 6 things look like together will build brain connections and readiness for kindergarten. Just playing with toys and naming numbers is a beginning. Older kids may be able to count 6. Math whizes may count out 6 of one kind and 6 of another and notice that makes 12. Offer some groups of things that have more than enough–like bottle caps. Are there enough keys? How about erasers? Kids learn as they play and discover.
Some other ideas to suggest to your child might be to hop, spin, or jump 6 times. Take 6 giant steps, 6 baby steps, or 6 dinosaur steps. Tuck 6 toys in a toy box. Put 6 shoes or boots on the shelf by the door. 6 stuffies are having a nap. Is anybody else sleepy?
Learning about numbers doesn’t start with printable worksheets; it starts with exploring numbers in play and using them at home. These experiences all contribute to children’s number sense (and readiness for kindergarten) which grows and develops just like kids do. What are some fun activities for the number 4? Cars, trucks and lots of train … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – 4 Gr8 Learning→
1,2,3…Go! While many children can say the number 3, they also need to build in their mind an idea of “threeness”. To do this, kids need lots and lots of experiences with 3. Over time, they create a mental image of how much is 3, linking how many to the number word. This basic understanding … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – 1 2 3 Go, Play, Learn→
Each day will have untapped opportunities for learning activities. From first thing in the morning until bedtime here are some ways to build and reinforce your child’s understanding of the number 2 (and promote readiness for kindergarten later on). Some will be more appropriate for younger toddlers and some more appealing to older kids. Getting dressed, you can … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – 2 Times the Number Fun→
Children need to develop a basic number sense. While lots of experiences with numbers is important, for some kids developing number sense is easier than for others. This may be related to learning styles. Following are some fun activities with the number 1 that appeal to different learning preferences and will help with basic number … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Fun Activities With Number 1→
Since it’s a new year and January is month number one, it’s time for some number fun. For children, number sense develops gradually and kids need many experiences with numbers to build important brain connections. Many number opportunities occur naturally in a day and will give your child experience with numbers: time to get up in the morning, counting the … Continue reading Readiness for Learning – January is One, 4 Number Fun→
Pardon the pun, but practicing numbers on a vacation just adds to the fun. No matter the age of your little ones, just pointing out all the places where there are numbers helps kids learn how important numbers are. Road numbers, prices on signs, hotel room doors, addresses, elevators, clocks, money and menus are just a few … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Vacation Numbers→