Math Games and Crafts

Mitten Game/Touch Points

I have recently introduced the touch point math digits to the boys.  When I was teaching first grade, I found them to be an excellent strategy for learning addition.  For preschool they are great for one to one correspondence and number recognition.  If you are unfamiliar with them they look like this...

This is how they work.  In order to count each dot is tapped with the child's finger.  The dot with the circle is a double tap, counting two.  So for the number six, it is counted, "1,2, (next dot) 3,4, (next dot) 5,6"  I have seen the number nine presented different ways.  I prefer the one I have pictured.  
If you check out the touch point math website, you can find free worksheets and information.  Instead of using a worksheet this week, I decided to make a game to reinforce the numbers.  
The Mitten 20th Anniversary Edition

First we read the book The Mitten, by Jan Brett.  I created a set of mittens and gloves from craft foam.  The mittens are odd number and the gloves are even.  Each one has a match.  Each one pictures a number with the touch point digit on it.   The single dot is a glittery sticker.  The double dot and circle is an eyeball.  Then I hung a short piece of ribbon across our play stand.  

Here is how we played the game.  I placed the collection of mittens and gloves in a mixed up pile upside down on the floor.  On a turn the boys had to match up the color and style of glove or mitten.  Then they had to count the number on each glove using the touch points.  Each one had to be counted to assure a match.  Then they had to hang them on the clothesline in the sequence that they would come on a number line.  

This is one of those games I love because it hits manifold skills.  
color matching
number recognition
fine motor

It is a keeper!

Race to 100

How to play:

Roll the die to begin to collect ones (yellows) 
Once you reach ten ones trade up to a ten (pink) 
Continue to roll and collect ones (yellows) and trade up to tens (pinks)

until there are ten tens (pinks) then you trade the pinks for the blue one-hundred.  

This game takes a long time for preschoolers. We play over one week and keep track of where we left off.  Older children can easily play in one sitting.  It is excellent for teaching place value.  

We read the book Pattern Fish by Trudie Harris to kick off a study of patterns.  This book also crossed over into our fish study, so I was quick to check it out of the library.  I just love this book.  It exudes patterns from beginning to end.  The illustrations are patterns, the writing has a pattern, and it forces the readers to finish patterns.  My boys were quick to pick up on the various patterns in the book.

To follow up we used counting bears to make various patterns.  ABAB, AABB, AAAB, were the main focus.  Then we used this little guy to print patterns with tempera paint. We used glossy tempera which is a bit more fish like.  Here is our final product.

This is what I call a "piggyback" craft that I used from this book.  The title is One Too Many by Gianna Marino.

The book takes place in a barnyard around a watering trough.  A flea bounces around to various animals.  In the process of jumping the reader follows a thin silver line and counts how many animals the flea jumps on.  If you look closely at the photograph you can make out the flea under the sun and the silver line as it bounces across the page to land finally on the number three.   It is an excellent counting book for one-to-one correspondence.  My boys loved it, and are practicing their counting with it.

Here is how we did a piggyback craft with this book.  We have been studying leaves.  We went out and selected our favorite flexible leaves from the yard.  Then we brought them inside and made leaf rubbings with crayons.  We took round stickers as a "landing spot," and place one on every leaf that was on the page.  Then we drew in the path of the bug as it jumped from leaf to leaf.  On each sticker we wrote in the number as we landed.   The boys were able to practice counting their leaves in the same fashion as the book.