Here is a super simple, Montessori style maths activity that focuses on fine motor skills at the same time. So quick and easy to set up and fun to turn into a game or race challenge too!
We set up this fun game on our sideboard, along with lots of other loose parts and interesting materials for discovery (which I shall photograph and write about soon.)
I found the gorgeous, leaf shaped tray and the other materials too in Tiger. We used these along with the 10 fabric flowers (these are designed for card decorations originally) and a pair of trainer chopsticks, which have a spring in the middle, to set up our Montessori style activity.
The chopsticks are fantastic for little hands to manipulate and are a great stepping stone to more fiddly and complicated tools, as they are easy to operate. They also exercise the tiny hand muscles really effectively, strengthening them for writing later on.
With all the flowers sitting in one tray, we made a simple game to move them, one by one using the chopsticks, to the other tray. They had to say the number as they moved each one, thus practising 1:1 correspondence and counting objects up to 10.
Turn it into a race by adding an extra set of flowers, with a different colour, and give the second child their own chopsticks. Who can move their flowers the fastest, just one at a time?
Extend the challenge by asking them to add together various amounts of the two colours of flowers e.g. there are some purple flowers on this leaf and white on the other. How many of each are there? And how many are there altogether when you move them and count them all up?
What they are learning while they play:
Physical: fine motor skills, coordination and control, transferring, operating small tools
Maths: counting using 1:1 correspondence, counting small groups of objects up to 10, combining small amounts to find a total
We have LOADS more PLAYFUL MATHS ideas to inspire you in the archives. Get pinning!
And plenty of FINE MOTOR SKILLS ACTIVITIES too.
Follow my Playful Maths Pinboard for great ideas collected around the web too!