Make a fun posting box resource for early counting and sorting skills with the added benefit of fine motor practise and problem solving too! The enduring appeal of dropping and posting through holes will make this a real favourite game with toddlers to school age kids, with possibilities to extend the learning for the older age group.
Welcome to another Playful Maths activity, part of an on-going early learning series co-hosted with Debs from Learn with play at Home
. This week we are looking at ways to use bottle tops and lids to make simple maths games with young children. See her fantastic bottle top addition game
For this activity we used a range of jar lids and bottle tops in various diameters and thicknesses. We sorted these into groups by size then I covered the front of each group with matching colours, using paper and a glue stick.
Using a craft knife I then cut slots into the base of a shoe box and made them to fit the size and width of each group of lids. Then I cut some pieces from the leftover paper and stuck them around each hole as an indicator of which one belonged where. I wrote the corresponding number of lids next to each colour slot, ready for the girls to find them and count them in as they posted them. I deliberately used the numbers 1-5 to keep it simple but this could easily be extended to larger teen numbers and beyond (if you have enough bottle tops!)
As with our previous maths games they fought over who got to play with this first, with baby Bean muscling her way in and sitting on top of the whole thing! Cakie immediately sorted all the tops by colour and then counted out how many there were of each, placing them in order from 1 to 5. She then went on to post them in the correct numerical order and counted using 1:1 correspondence as she posted each one through the correctly coloured slots.
Pop also sorted the lids by colour but wasn’t as interested in how many there were of each and didn’t start at number 1. She quickly matched the correctly coloured lids to the slots and posted them through, counting out as she did so, although she did need reminding to be slow and count 1:1. It was a great activity for her as she had to think about how to rotate the lids to make them fit, thus strengthening her little wrists and hands as she did so.
Baby was delighted to have a go and tried very hard to get the lids into the holes, occasionally managing it all by herself! It won’t be long until she can master it too.
What they are learning as they play:
maths: recognising numerals, matching by colour and size, comparing and ordering by size, counting using 1:1 correspondence, counting up to 5 objects reliably, problem solving, making things fit
physical: fine motor dexterity, baby grip, twisting and rotating objects, posting and dropping
phse: concentration, perseverance, problem solving, co-operation, completing a task
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