Grab your snacks! You need to try this easy math activity.
I am a sucker for snacks. It’s my Achilles heal along with excessive coffee, Project Runway, and Fall decorations. I might have a lot of Achilles heals but trust me, snacks are my jam so it’s no surprise that I love a good math activity with snacks.
I’ve always called this kind of math activity “Munchie Math”. It’s a fun way to play with math and I’ll explain why it’s much more than just eating it.
Munchie math activities are so magical!
Munchie math is a great way to make something abstract (numbers) into something concrete (using snacks).
I set this activity up as a chance to count groups. While this may look like an activity based on addition, I know better than that. I know that’s way too advanced for preschool.
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This math activity is about counting groups
My goal for this activity was to give my son (4 yrs) a chance to do some counting with a purpose.
Here are the supplies I grabbed:
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- Goldfish crackers
- Ice cube tray
Dice are a great “gimmick” for teaching math, kind of like playing cards. They make math fun. Ice cube trays are also a great tool – they give a place to count into. It makes it harder for kids to lose their counting place. There’s actually a lot of math manipulatives all over your house!
Here’s what we did with Roll & Count
My son’s first job was to roll the two dice. He then counted out one dice and placed that many gold fish into the ice cube tray. Then he counted the second dice and did the same: placed goldfish in the ice cube tray.
Once he had all the goldfish placed into the ice cube tray, it was time to count the whole group together.
Simple but brilliant, huh?
This is a chance for my son to count so many times: he counts each dice, then he counts the goldfish, then he counts ALL the goldfish.
This is basic addition but shhhhh – don’t tell him that. What I want my son to learn is that you can take two numbers and make a new group with them. That’s all. We aren’t talking about plus and equal, or math facts and number families. This is about counting.
Where do we go from here?
Eventually, an activity like this will transition into an addition activity and we will roll a number sentence. We will focus on how two numbers join together to make a new LARGER number. I used to do this kind of stuff all the time with my first graders. But we aren’t there yet.
You can make a simple math activity like this at your house so easily. Just grab some snacks, some dice and an ice cub tray and you’ve got this! Just be better than me and don’t eat too many of the snacks….
What’s your favorite at home math activity?
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