Rather than dump the extras in the trash, I've been racking my brain to come up with some other activities using the same squares. Kind of like buying mushrooms at the store. You only need about a third to make pizza...so what can you use the rest of them for? Because if you don't come up with something quick you end up with slimy shrooms.
But I digress.
I did think of some pretty simple little ways to use our dozens and dozens of squares. Today we practiced counting and number recognition with them.
1. graph paper (free download)
2. construction paper squares
4. crayons (optional)
5. abacus or other counting manipulatives
This activity works really well if you are working on a number a week. Alternatively, you could use the same activity to practice letter recognition. Ahead of time, use a black marker to make an outline on the graph paper of the number you're currently studying, as I did in the picture above. I drew their age - a number 3 for Daniel and a 4 for Natalie.
Let each child choose a color (I made them pick just one color so that the number would show up well in the end) and begin gluing squares down:
Note: this activity is really more suited to the child who is just beginning to work on number recognition. In our house, this was perfect for Daniel. He was able to make his 3 without help (but with a little guidance to keep going), and then we spent some time working on counting.
Natalie made a number because it was fun for her to make something. She's a girl after my own heart.
If you have a baby, you'd better be prepared with all kinds of distractions! Babies love to eat little paper squares, by the way.
After they finished making their number, we used the abacus to count up to their number. They then counted out the correct number of squares and glued them onto their paper.
As I mentioned above, I then spent some time working with Daniel on counting up to 10 using the abacus. We counted out 4 rows of 10, and as soon as he started to lose interest, I let it drop. He'd already been hard at work for at least 10 minutes before that...not bad for a 3 year old.
The finished pictures:
Of course Natalie wanted to fill the rest of her paper in with color! I was thinking it would be cool to make one of these for every number up to 10 and hang them in the room, and Natalie liked that idea. It may happen. We still have loads of squares ;)
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