Set up a creative approach to developing early maths skills using play dough, matchsticks and wooden numerals!
I set out this mathematical Invitation to Play recently as a way to encourage some completely open-ended, hands on counting and number skills. If you follow our Facebook page you may have seen it posted there. As is always the case with play invitations, there was no set outcome in mind and the children were encouraged to do whatever they wanted with the materials, with my role being to observe, prompt questions and interact when they wanted me to.
What was on the table:
- wooden matchsticks
- wooden numerals (both Creation Station brand- very cheap!)
- red sparkly play dough (find our easy-peasy no-cook recipe here)
What they are learning as they play:
[Recognising numerals, counting using 1:1 correspondence, matching numbers and amounts, recognising small sets, fine motor skill and control, problem solving skills]
Extend this activity!
- Put the sticks into the dough first and ask the child to count them, then find the numeral to match
- Take some sticks away from the dough ball and work out simple subtraction problems practically
- Use a larger piece of dough to stick in two numerals, find the correct sticks for each and then add together to solve simple addition problems
Read more here about Invitations to Play, what they are and why they’re brilliant!
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