Sorting Numbers

Are you the type of person who likes to play around with fonts in a Word Document before you “feel” like you have picked the right one.
Well, if so, you will love the concept of this post.
I have made a template of numbers in several different fonts that you can print onto cardstock for your little one. Cardstock is much more durable than computer paper so I definitely recommend investing in some for free printables 🙂
Then, you can cut out the numbers – or let your little one practice their scissor skills and cut them out.
Explain to your little one that the line under the number needs to be at the bottom so you know that the numbers aren’t upside down.
Then, let your little one sort by number….putting all the ones together, twos, threes, etc.

This is a great activity to practice sorting, number recognition, and concentration on number formation! So here is your free printable: Number Font Sorting



Counting Book Graph

Today’s math skill is going to incorporate number sense, by counting and writing the numeral that represents the group of objects, in a mommy/daddy teacher-made graph.  Whew! That was a mouthful, but this it is because this activity is packed with opportunities for extensions and repetition.

YOU are going to look through a counting book (or other family favorite book with pictures) and then fill in the first two columns of a graph with the animal/object names and images for your little one to search through the book to find and count.   My example is below from the book “Count!”, but you can free-hand the image….it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Your goal is to give your little one a researching task that causes them to find, count, and write the information into the correct spaces on the graph.  You will be there, by their side, helping with this task.  Your little one doesn’t have to sound out the number word in order to write it….he/she can use their book resource to write the numbers and spell the number words.

This is a great counting book extension to give your little one an independent activity to do and to learn from.

Hundreds ch-ART

My sister Ali shared an activity that she and her 5 year old, Kaylee, worked on together for a Kindergarten class assignment. Today, we are going to simplify the activity for our 3 year olds OR use the activity for our 5 year olds. My sis is an AWESOME Mommy Teacher to both her 5 year old and her 2 year old girls.

Here is Ali’s description of the activity for your 5 year old,
but stay tuned for my modification for your 3 year old:
“This was for her 100th day of school; it was a home/family project that Rick, Kaylee’s dad, joked was more of mommies’ project. The assignment was to find 10 items around the house in groups of 10 and glue those things in groups on a poster board. The school gave examples like pennies, paperclips, etc.  Kaylee is very creative and I always call her “My Little Picasso” (which she got very mad the first time thinking I was calling her a bad name), but she wanted to do more colorful and unique items for her project.  For learning purposes, any small items would work and not take as long as we took, but she was “creating art” so to speak and the 2 hour project began.  We ran around the house finding a huge variety of items, jewels, sugar packets, even cut-up glass tile samples.  We counted each item up to 10 and spread them out in groups on the poster board. I was prepared for her to just start gluing them down when she said she wanted to make pictures out of each… put the bougainvillea tree flowers into a heart, the colors into a sunset, the sugar packets into a sun with rocks as the face in the sun.  The only input I had was the ‘K’, ‘R’ paperclips for her name, and the jewels in the shape of the flower. When everything was glued down, we counted by 10’s and 1’s to 100. It was really fun to do together because she was not only learning, but was being creative at the same time.

They also had another assignment that same week to hug 100 people. It could be the same person on the list several times (like moms, dads and siblings), but basically giving a hug to someone who needed it.  She must have given over 40 hugs to the staff and even customers at Lupe’s Restaurant and the dentist… she is already a social butterfly, but it really put a smile on everyone’s face too, amazing what a hug can do!”

I LOVE this whole assignment and this is the kind of hands-on project that really creates a sweet opportunity for shared learning and chances to BUILD on what your child already knows. If you have a 3 year old, collect as many groups of 10 things as your little ones attention span can handle….which might only be ONE group of 10…..and that is fine; consider it their work of art because you want quality more than quantity. Don’t try to do too much at one time; leave plenty of room for brain breaks (movement, outside playtime, music, snack, etc.). Finally, MODEL counting the objects by ones up to the number of objects you collected. And you can go ahead and INTRODUCE modeling counting by 10s if you collect more than one group. But make sure your little one has mastered counting to 10 by 1’s first (one object at a time).

Homemade Dominoes

Every time I see dominos I think about my friend’s set of HUGE dominoes that she stored in a math bucket; she always seemed to find a use for them.

For us, as adults, when we play a dice game or domino game we don’t have to count the number of dots to find out how many spaces to move or what number of dots is a match.   This is mainly because we have stored the group of dots in our minds with a number that it represents.  And by knowing that, we can use this strategy to take shortcuts to counting, to compare sets of numbers, and much more.

So, it is important for children to become familiar with dominos and cards that have groups of dots that are consistent with number amounts because children can begin to understand number sets spatially after lots of practice.  Children need the same repetition when it comes to seeing groups of objects representing a number.  But, for the first several times using number set cards or toys, children will need to count them to learn why a number represents that many dots on the game piece.

A way to help children begin to wrap their minds around this subject is by seeing how a domino is made and by MAKING one on their own.

I used small blank index cards and stickers that I already have in my house.  Maybe you have cardstock and stamps or hole reinforcements.  Whatever you find to use, you will model how to make a domino FIRST by arranging the stickers and then allow your little one to make one in the same way you arranged the stickers.  I model my arrangements after dominoes because it makes it easier for consistency.

Excuse the photography, but here is a set I made with a 3 year old little friend of mine 🙂


Building Block Math

We are overdue for some math chat, and if there is one thing I ALWAYS harp on it’s that math concepts begin through hands-on learning. Reading has a whole lot more listening activities: playing with words through rhythm and rhyme or listening for sounds in a word, but math uses tangible objects so children can wrap their hands, and their minds, around the concepts.

So, let’s learn another math activity that uses objects around the house.
Materials: You can use unifix cubes or blocks, but whatever you use, the rule is they need to be the same size. And an extension of this activity will use dice (with dots or numbers).

Spread the blocks all over your learning space, and make up a story about why Barbie (g.i. joe or whoever) wants to go to the top floor of the mall (or building or fort). “Can we build her a staircase to get there?” Take one block and show your little one “Okay here is the first step, and if I want the next step to be a little taller then I will need one more than this, so I will need two blocks” (build two blocks and place them next to the first step). Okay, the next step needs to be even taller than the second step so I need one more than 2. What number comes after 2?” (3) “Great! So let’s attach 3 together to make the 3rd step.” Build 5-10 steps. Then take it apart after a bit of playing and let your little one help you make it again. Finally, see if your little one can make the steps on his/her own.

A lot of skills are being taught here. Your child is visually seeing how numbers grow so he/she is learning what numbers represent. You are exposing your little one to language like “more” and “taller,” ordinal numbers like “second” and “third,” and you are teaching about numbers that come “before” and “after.”

Play this game again tomorrow except this time use a dice (dotted or numbered), and each time you roll the dice build a step that tall. Try to help your little one put the stairs in order each time you build a new step by asking questions like “Is this one bigger or smaller (taller or shorter)? If you roll the same number, figure out if you already have a step that tall and explain to your little one that you already have a stair that size and you need one that is taller or shorter to make the steps “grow” taller.


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