I’m working with 3M today, to showcase some of the fun you can have with their super sticky Post-it Notes. Here’s some hands-on math games you can try, exploring shape, size, patterns and scale, with some art and imaginary play thrown in for good measure too!
When you’re working on math with younger children it’s really important to start with real things – objects they can hold in their hands and use as they play and work with mathematical ideas. They need to have a solid understanding of the concept that a written down ‘1’ actually means one car, or one block, or one bottle top. Using toys and other items as manipulatives is great to help them understand this, and adding in new manipulatives every so often keeps the math games fun and interesting. So today, here’s an idea for a really quick-to-make set of DIY manipulatives, and lots of ideas for how you might use them.
Math games with circles [Read more…]
This week we decided to make a house -warming card for the girls’ aunt and uncle – a great way to play with maths and make some shape pictures! My daughter loved this activity and was so pleased to make something to give as a gift. And all the while she was happily creating her picture, she was learning all sorts of important maths and literacy skills, without even realising it. Here’s how we made our shape picture…
Make a house :: shape pictures [Read more…]
Did you see the marble painting we did yesterday? It was great roly-poly fun and we decided that instead of just adding to our picture gallery we would use the designs to make a shape garland.
We had lots of chat about which shapes we would use and decided to stick with circles, squares and triangles, as the children would find them fairly easy to cut out themselves.
We went on a shape hunt to find objects the right shape and size to draw round and then we cut them out.
We used our fingers to trace round the outside of the shapes and count how many sides they had.
We did some shape sorting, making piles of circles, triangles and squares.
We talked about size and lined each shape up from biggest to smallest.
Then we used sticky tape to fasten our shapes onto thread and hung up our garland to decorate our room. The mobile looks beautiful as it twirls around.
That’s a lot of fun learning from one simple activity. How do you teach shapes to your children?
A thrifty tip for free toys: collect the lids off your milk bottles and jars. Wash them, dry them and give them to your children and see the creative ways they use them. (Make sure you don’t give very small children lids so small they could be a choking hazard.) My girls love them and come up with all sorts of ways to play with them.
1. Be artistic: what pictures can you make?
2. Try some maths: sort the tops into different sizes, working from smallest to largest in a long line.
3. Get classifying & talk about colours: sort the bottle tops into piles of each colour. L is always on the look out for any golden ones!
4. Add in some letters or shapes: Use a permanent marker pen to write letters or shapes onto the lids. Can you spot all the curved letters? Or find all the triangles?
5. Add numbers: and see if you can order the lids in numerical order, or use them to do sums.
6. Role play: Use the lids as money to play shop or as treasure for pirates to find.
Hand them over to you kids and see what they come up with – they always have the best ideas for play.
I’m looking for fun ways to teach shapes – got any ideas for me?
We started our mission by eating a lunch of circles, easy to make a whole meal of circles once you start looking!
More creative math activities
If you’re looking for play-based exploration and discovery of math and science concepts, come and take a look at our Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities.
And for more math-meets art resources, join my ART of CIRCLES workshop.