Friday, March 2, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Math

This is something I made for my 3 year old to play with the other morning- it turns a little holiday activity into learning. It's along the lines of an activity box or book and slightly Montessori...but I just call it an activity mat.

The mat is a poster board that I wrote/drew on to make some activities using the "Leprechaun's gold coins."  The gold coins I got at a craft store for just about a dollar.
The mat "discusses" least, more, and most and has places to put the coins in order to give it some visual meaning as well.
Another aspect of preschool math and spacial awareness has to do with shapes/geometric puzzles and how multiple items can combine to make a bigger item.  The "fill in" shape hints at that, as she had to figure out how to arrange the coins to make the Shamrock. I left a space up at the top that she could fidget with the coins to make her own designs as well.

The coin pouches, or "Pots-o-gold," I made with black felt, a little acrylic paint for the numbers, and my best hot glue gun ;)  (please excuse my wonky looking numbers, I normally am a perfectionist and would not accept this sloppiness, but I used what I had lying around, a big fat square paint brush).
They are numbered 1 through 5 (I may have done 10 if I had more felt, but again...I make use of the things I already have lying around). The object is to count the coins and put in the amount indicated by the number on the outside of each "pot".  We touched on a little addition and subtraction as well; If she put too many or too little we would count them and decide how many more we needed or how many we needed to take away in order to get the right number.

This was simple, fairly quick to make but provided a much longer period of entertainment...and I think she may be learning something too ;)

 "Wishin' you a pot ogold, and all the joy your heart can hold."


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