As we enter the holiday/winter season, I wanted to incorporate some activities that while fun, were still skill-based. The two ideas I'm sharing today meet that criteria and were able to be put together rather quickly and easily.
The first activity focuses on number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.
Materials needed are: a dice with numbers on it, a container to keep the dice from ending up on the floor after an overly-zealous throw, pom-poms, and a game board.
I created the game board by using a copy of an evergreen tree, making circles on the tree similar to the size of the pom-poms to be used, copying it on green paper, and laminating it. I created four of these pages so several friends could play at the same time.
The child would roll the dice and attempt to identify the number facing up after the roll. If they weren't able to name it, another child or myself would help them. After identifying the number, the child would count out the matching number of pom-poms and place them on their tree.
Each child would take a turn then pass the dice and container to the next friend until they successfully completed decorating their tree. Often the children would name the number they needed to roll in order to complete the tree, which is another concept. A teacher was available to assist with the game for a day or so, then the children often pulled the game out and played it themselves.
The next activity we presented was a sequencing one. We had strips of paper cut into five different lengths. There were three different colors the children could choose from.
After choosing the color they wanted to use, we encouraged them to line up the pieces with the longest at the bottom and getting smaller going up. Most were successful in this venture without any assistance. After determining their place on the paper, each child glued down their pieces.
After gluing their pieces down they could be finished or were given the option to add additional materials to their tree. We had die-cuts of star shapes and also punched a variety of colors of circles.
It was great seeing their blooming math skills flourish through game play and paper piecing.