Friday, December 23, 2016

Count on It (or Rather With It)

It's Scott from Brick by Brick. I love to repurpose materials—use materials in ways different from their intended purpose.

Counting and developing a concept of number and quantity is important for this age group. You can purchase all kinds of counters - those small manipulative objects to use for creating quantities. But you can also repurpose things you already have in great counting and number games. Here are just a few things we've used for counters.

Rocks, floral marbles, gems, etc.
These make great items to count or group into quantities.

Check in the floral section of a craft store for different colors and sizes of floral marbles. (We also used them another counting game.)

We saved lids from plastic bottles and use those as counters, too. Ask parents to help collect lids. (Save the plastic bottles, too, for other fun repurposing.)

I found a collection of foam cubes at the discount area of a local store. Check dollar stores for these or other small objects to count. You can also use numbered cubes from games or small wooden cubes from the craft store.

And we like to mix it up when we count, stacking various objects together. This activity becomes part math, part construction, and part art. (Plus we can make bigger quantities by doubling up on the squares. More math play!)

Small Toys
We have used animal figures, cars, and other small toys to count or make quantities. Change up what you use for thematic play.

We use pompoms for all kinds of things but they are great for counting and number games. Change up the colors for more fun.

You can also use small erasers, old game pieces, checkers...anything that is small and plentiful. You will need a good quantity of whatever you use so kids will enjoy creating groups or counting specific quantities.

Look through your classroom or storage area. What could you use to "spice up" your math play?

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