Lily Pad Math

With fly swatters and paper lily pads, we practiced counting with this exciting math activity! Each child was given three lily pads with flies drawn on them. Various numbers were affixed to each fly. We initiated this activity with a discussion of the numbers involved, and then clapped the amount of each.  Your budding mathematician was then shown a card with a number on it. They were then directed to hit their “flies” with the amount displayed on the card.  This provided a forum for talking about “more” and “less”, counting to nine, concepts such as adding and subtracting, and more vocabulary associated with the frog! By relating mathematical concepts to things that children are naturally curious about, such as animals, they are more engaged and intrinsically motivated to learn!

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Nut Sorting

The Wamponoags showed the Pilgrims how to gather nuts during their first winter. Using pictures, and real nuts, we sorted walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts into three piles. Sorting and classifying objects help children begin to notice how items are alike and different, and creates an awareness that is vital for math learning. Learning to distinguish between things feels like a major accomplishment for preschool children, and using real nuts made the activity that much more fun!

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Ghost Patterns

When young children categorize items, they are beginning to perceive the relationships between things. As they evolve in their ability to compartmentalize objects, they start to understand how things work together. In this activity, your budding mathematician learned how to recognize and continue number patterns within the scope of our ghost theme. Using buttons, black pasta, and plastic eye balls, we placed five items onto three paper ghosts, counting and naming the patterns that emerged as a result. We rearranged items, extended patterns, and described the differences we saw.

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Egg Matching!

Patterns present themselves to us in several ways; through the repeated images on wallpaper to the lyrics of our favorite songs. Understanding these patterns will influence your little ones’ future mathematical endeavors, because understanding numbers requires an understanding of how things work together. Using plastic eggs and colorful pictures, we practiced our own color and pattern recognition skills!

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