Counting Sun Spots Busy Bag

Counting Sun Spots Busy Bag

 

We combined a busy bag idea and a little learning about outer space into this fun activity.  The child will count the sun spots on the sun and match them to the corresponding numeral found on the clothespin sun rays.  This counting sun spots busy bag is great for number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.

 

>>>Print off the free counting sun spots printable here. <<<

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  10 clothespins, yellow paint (we received compliments of CraftProjectIdeas.com), paintbrush, black permanent marker, and this Counting Sun Spots printable.

 

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 1.  Paint one side of the clothespin yellow and let dry.  After completely dry, paint on the other side if you choose.

 

 

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 2.  Write numerals 1-10 on each clothespin with your permanent marker.  Notice we are missing #10…I have no idea where it is and didn’t want to delay the post just because we were missing a clothespin.  :)  Print and laminate the sun spot printable (I’ve had this inexpensive laminator for a couple years now and it does a great job).

 

 

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3  Give your child the sun spot printable and clothespins.  Have him/her count the number of sun spots and attach the corresponding clothespin.

 

 

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 All done…except for #10, which is MIA.

 

 

 

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 The back has the directions and a short definition of sun spots.

 

 

 Store in a gallon-size Ziploc and save it for later!  

Simple Balloon-Shaped Homemade Matching Games

Simple-Balloon-Shaped-Homemade-Matching-Games-2-Mama.Papa_.Bubba_.

 

Guest Post by Jen of Mama.Papa.Bubba.

 

As a mama who loves to prepare engaging activities for my little one to discover and explore, I often find that the simplest, easiest to create ones are the most loved (and that suits me just fine!) This homemade matching game is no exception. I’m not sure if it’s the stickers, the balloon shape, the fact that it involves matching, or a combination of all 3, but my little girl just adores this game and has for a long while now.

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The best part is that it’s pretty much a breeze to set up. For these games, we used a couple of balloon shapes cut out of card stock (of course any paper will do), some dot stickers (found in the office supply section of most dollar/big box stores), a permanent marker, some curling ribbon, and some tape.

 

 

Homemade Matching Games | Mama Papa Bubba

 

Next, I attached a length of ribbon to the back of each ballon with tape and then got to work with my Sharpie. There are all kinds of different possibilities, but this time I put uppercase letters on the orange balloon with coordinating lowercase letters on the stickers, and numbers on the coral balloon with coordinating die patterns on the other set of stickers. I love this activity because you really can tailor it to your child’s interests and abilities. Straight matching of shapes, texture patterns (dots, plaid, stripes, etc.), symbols, letters, and numbers is fun too!

 

 

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Once the games are prepared, I normally leave one of them out on a table somewhere as an invitation to play. Without fail, the moment my little lady discovers it, she jumps up and dives in. This was the first time we’d tried matching numbers with die patterns, and though she started counting using her finger as a pointer, she quickly asked for ‘something pokey’ to make the process easier. I offered her a toothpick which worked great, and she continued on with her game.

 

 

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One thing I try to encourage during these games is that she leaves ones that she can’t find matches for so that she can come back to them later. The process of elimination helps greatly and she can almost always finish her game independently.

 

 

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While working on a tabletop works great, a fun way to switch things up is by hanging the balloon at your child’s level on the wall. We also like to vary our shapes depending on the time of year, so the game truly never gets old (you can see our Christmas version here).

 

Simple  Balloon Shaped Homemade Matching Games 2 | Mama Papa Bubba

 

Jen is a primary teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to a two and a half year old little lady. She strives to be an engaged parent, is passionate about play, and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen her munchkin. She loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and has admittedly turned into a ‘crunchy’ mom. Her family’s adventures, through the eyes of her daughter, are chronicled on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba.  If you enjoyed this activity idea, pop on over to her blog,  Facebook page, or Pinterest page to see more of how they play and create in their house. ☺

 

Number Detectives

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

Guest Post by Katie of Gift of Curiosity

I’m Katie, mom to a four-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl. I’m so excited to be guest posting at I Can Teach My Child today in order to share a fun number learning game I call “Number Detectives.”

QBoy has been really interested in numbers lately. He can easily count from 1 to 10, and he has just about learned to recognize the numbers from 1 to 10 as well. XGirl does not recognize any numbers yet, but she does know how to count objects. I designed this Number Detectives activity so that both kids could play it according to their developmental level.

I started by writing numbers in chalk up and down our driveway.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

Then I created cards for each kid with dots on them. XGirl had the blue cards and QBoy had the yellow cards. As you can see, I wrote the numerals on XGirl’s cards because she doesn’t yet recognize them. So for her, the goal was to count and then match the numbers. For QBoy, on the other hand, the goal was to count and then recognize the numbers.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

Once I had my materials set up, I explained to the kids that I needed some detectives for a very important job. Were they up for the task? They assured me they were. :-)

I explained that all good detectives must carry a spray bottle in order to spray the bad guys. So the kids prepared their spray bottles.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

I then explained that all good detectives need tools to capture the bad guys. So the kids grabbed their hula hoops from the garage.

At that point we were ready to play, so I handed each kid a card. They counted the dots on their card, then had to find the corresponding number on our driveway.

Once they found their numbers, they “captured” them by throwing a hula hoop around them.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

Then they took out their spray bottles and squirted the numbers until they were gone.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

This was such fun for them, because my kids get such a kick out of using the spray bottle.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

Plus, all that spraying really develops the muscles of the hand.

Number detectives - a fun game to help kids recognize their numbers || Gift of Curiosity

Part of what made this activity so successful was the detective scenario I created for the kids and the enthusiasm I expressed about “capturing” their numbers and squirting them with water. The kids happily ran up and down our driveway capturing and spraying numbers for quite some time. And I loved that they were having fun while simultaneously working on so many skills, such as counting, number recognition, gross motor, and fine motor skills.

 

Katie has worked in the education field for over 12 years, and recently completed her PhD in child and adolescent development. Nonetheless, she finds parenting her two preschool age children to be the best education of all. She blogs at Gift of Curiosity where she provide ideas and inspiration for fostering young children’s development, learning, and curiosity. You can also keep up with her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

Summer Math Fun for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners

Summer Math Fun for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners

 

Guest Post by Charity Hawkins, author of The Homeschool Experiment

 

Teaching math to young children is easy.  No worksheets,  flashcards or apps are required. All that is required is a willing adult who will help explain how the world works to these inquiring little minds.

 

Think of it this way: anything with numbers is math. Here are some easy ways to teach math concepts  to your young children this summer.

 

Money – I like to have the kids count out coins or dollars for ice cream.  Preschoolers can sort the leftover coins into dime and penny towers, learn names, and count the number of coins. Kindergarteners can start to learn how much each coin is worth.  You can also talk about the presidents on the coins.They’re learning that money buys things (and I like to mention that it takes work to earn money) and each coin has a name.

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Weights – At the grocery store your child can help weigh peaches or tomatoes. You can say, “If one peach weighs one pound, how much do you think three peaches will weigh?” The old-fashioned (non-digital) scales are best for this so your child can see the needle move. You are just reinforcing that you measure how heavy things are with pounds.

 

Calendar – As you count down days until vacation or a birthday, you can show your child the calendar. Help them learn the days of the week (we sing a little song) and the months of the year (we made up a song for that too). Preschoolers may just understand that we look at a calendar to see what day it is. Older children can count down days, look at the dates, or think about how many months until their birthday. You’re teaching that large amounts of time are measured in days and months(Years probably won’t make sense until they’re older.) 

 

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Time – When your child asks what time it is, help them learn how to tell time. Preschoolers can practice recognizing the numerals on the clock and learning about morning, afternoon, night time. Kindergarteners can start to learn the difference between the hour and minute hand and tell time to the hour. Our daughter likes to proclaim, “Eight o’clock and all is well!”—an idea from her math curriculum. (Telling time to the half or quarter hour can wait until first or second grade.)  You’re teaching that small amounts of time are measured in hours and minutes.

 

Measurement – You can measure items with non-standard measurements like shoes, hand lengths, or whatever is around. How many books long is the table? Older children can learn about inches or meters. (“Feet” is a tricky concept for little ones because they tend to imagine their feet!) You can let them play with a small measuring tape (large ones can snap in and hurt little fingers, so supervise) and measure things. If you think they can understand, you can explain that 12 inches make up one “measuring foot.”  I sent my kids out to the backyard with a yardstick to measure the swing I was recovering just to give them a chance to measure something. Anytime you need to measure something (for decorating, backyard work, house projects, etc.), you can invite your kids to join you.  You’re teaching the idea that the length of things is measured with inches, feet, and yards.

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Dry/Liquid Measurement – The easiest time to talk about this is when you’re cooking. You are teaching words like “cups,” “tablespoons,” and “teaspoons” as the kids measure dry or liquid ingredients. You can also mention “gallons” of milk or a “pint” of cream.  And you can count cookies if you have time in between all the telling them to stop eating the cookies.

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Temperature – If it’s hot you can say, “Boy, it’s hot! I wonder if it’s 100 degrees!” You can show preschoolers a thermometer and put it outside to watch the red go up, then stick it in the freezer to watch the red go down. Magic! It’s also fun to look at a colored map of the country (USA Today often has these, maybe daily) and look at where it’s hot and where  it’s cold. You can play guessing games with older children, ex. “Do you think it’s hotter in Alaska or New Mexico?” and they can practice finding their state. You are teaching them that heat is measured in degreesYou are also teaching geography and map skills.

 

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Maps & Directions – This is sort of science-y and sort of math-y. If you’re going on a vacation, you can show your child a nice old-fashioned paper map and show them the route. I like to make a color copy, then darken the route with a marker, so they can follow along. I’ll call out towns along the way, “We’re getting to Little Rock, who can find it on the map? Which direction are we going?” Oh, and I usually make a copy for each child so they’re not fighting over the map! (But not to worry, they find plenty of other things to fight about.) You can teach the four basic directions, and kindergarteners can learn words like “map compass” and “legend.” You are teaching them that maps are used to show direction and place.

 

 

Shapes & Sizes – As you see basic shapes you can teach their names: squares, triangles, ovals, circles and rectangles.  Help your child compare items: small, medium, big.  “Which one of these balls is the biggest?”  “Which one of these towers is the tallest? Which one is shortest?”

 

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Counting – Counting is always good. My three-year-old is counting everything these days: pebbles, potatoes (for half an hour!), animals in books. You can help preschoolers learn the idea of one-to-one correspondence by touching each item in a book with their finger as you count. This and starting to recognize numerals (that “8” means eight items) gives them a great foundation and prepares them for kindergarten. Kindergarteners can start doing simple math problems (ex. Two strawberries plus two more is four). So many fun things to count all around!

 

 

What fun ideas do you have for teaching math to little ones?

Charity Hawkins is the author of The Homeschool Experiment: a novel. She lives, writes, and helps count potatoes in Oklahoma. Facebook/TheHomeschoolExperiment

 

Counting Robots

Counting Robots

 

This simple activity is great for number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, and fine motor control!  We used some robot stickers to make the activity even more appealing to Little Brother.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  craft sticks, clothespins,  robot stickers (which we received compliments of CraftProjectIdeas.com), and a Sharpie.

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IMG_9932 1.  Add your stickers onto each craft stick.

 

 

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 2.  Write the numerals on both sides of the clothespins.

 

 

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3.  Give your child the craft sticks and have him/her count the stickers on each stick…

 

 

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…and then select the corresponding clothespin.

 

 

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Pinching the clothespin is great for developing the small muscles in the hands.

 

 

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 All done!

 

 

 Check out more number recognition activities here and on our Pinterest board!