Make a fabulously creepy counting spiders sensory maths tray for learning single and two digit numerals, practising addition and subtraction and finding one more and one less than a given number. The spider theme is sure to appeal to all mini-beast lovers and the sensory-rich fine motor benefits are awesome too!
We are HUGE fans of kinaesthetic learning, especially practising homework in DIY awesome sensory learning trays! We now have an enormous archive of SENSORY WRITING TRAYS packed full of seasonal, scented, themed and otherwise super-duper fun ways to practise letters, phonics, sight words and name writing without the need for a dull worksheet. We often also use similar trays for maths skills and this spider themed sensory tray was a brilliant to practise many numeracy skills!
wooden tray (ours is a packaging box from a Melissa and Doug toy)
small plastic spiders
numbers and maths problems written on pieces of white card
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As always, I like to try and extend or simplify the use to suit all three of my bigger kids so that they can find a way to play that suits their current stage of learning. Mr 2 also enjoys these activities at the sensory level!
So the first way we used this tray was to simply practise writing numerals. These are harder to learn as they are not given as much time as letters of the alphabet, and so often our kids learn to write them backwards or in awkward formation. Writing on a larger scale, using fingertips in a sensory material like this helps kids to really connect with the movements they are making.
Next I gave them a bowl of teeny tiny spider counters to add to the number outline. They counted out the correct number to match each numeral.
This was simply extended by then practising two digit numbers. First they read the numbers off the card, then copied them in the sensory tray and finally they counted out the corresponding amount of spiders to match.
The next stage, for those who were able, was to introduce some simple addition and subtraction problems , again using the spiders as counters. Using physical objects helps to consolidate learning as the child moves each one and counts again to check to total amount.
You can keep this super simple by adding just two, single digit numbers together or you can extend it by adding more digits too. They write the answer below the problem in the tray before shaking and starting all over again with a new card.
Using these mini spiders for subtraction is also fun as the child sets out the first amount, then makes the second amount disappear from the tray to find the answer, which they then trace into the salt.
Of course you could then do multiplication, division, one more than, one less than etc, indeed any number problem that you wish to practise that day!
You may also like to see our full SENSORY WRITING/ NUMBER TRAY archives for more themed and seasonal ideas!
If you liked this then you will love our SPIDER WEB FINE MOTOR GAME too!
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