Each Wednesday throughout the school year, we will share activities centered around various topics of interest to preschoolers. This week, the #playfulpreschool blogging team has developed learning ideas with a REINDEER THEME! Please take a moment to browse all the wonderful activity suggestions that are linked below for your convenience!
Objective: To offer opportunities to playfully practice 1-to-1 Correspondence in order to learn how a certain number relates to a specific quantity of objects.
The goal of 1-to-1 Correspondence is to help young children gain confidence not only with number recognition, but to help them move beyond basic recognition and toward the question: How many items make up any specific number?
Prior to the activity – laminate the counting mats (or cover with clear contact paper) for durability.
Place the playdough out on a table or a tray as an invitation to play. Demonstrate for the children how to tear off a piece of playdough and roll it around in the palm of their hands to form a ball (a reindeer “nose”). Younger kids may wish to only tear small pieces of playdough to use on their mats. Tearing and rolling playdough balls, while FUN, builds important fine motor strength and control for preschoolers!
Set out the lower numbered playdough mats to begin. Invite the children to count the number of circles in one of the boxes and then place the corresponding number of playdough balls (reindeer nose) in each of the boxes. Remind the children to count out loud as they place the playdough balls on the mat. Preschoolers will often count ahead of physically placing the balls in the circles OR count slower than the number of balls placed on the mat. Observe the children to find counting successes or where errors are made. Young children need a great deal of practice with the numbers 1-5. Please don’t feel the need to move on too quickly. The number 5 is an important math anchor; having substantial practice with the numbers 1-5 will help with all future math concepts. As the children gain confidence in counting accurately, larger numbers can be introduced.
COLOR, COUNT, and CLIP – Reindeer Nose Math for Preschool!
Print the Reindeer Math Mats (linked above) to heavy paper and cut apart the reindeer number cards and the boxes with circles (see photo above).
Materials needed: 12 clothespins labeled with one number (1-12), crayons, and the reindeer cards/circle boxes from the printable.
To begin: choose any 3 numbers that the children are familiar with and lay those reindeer cards/circle boxes out in random order on a tray or a table. Invite the children to color the circles in boxes to resemble reindeer noses. Encourage the children to count the number of circles as they color each one on the individual cards.
When the children are finished coloring the reindeer noses (circles), invite them to match the number of circles to the numbered reindeer card. The children can then choose the corresponding numbered clothespin and clip the two cards together (see photo above). Again, begin with lower numbers until the children are very familiar with the numbers 1-5.
The REINDEER NOSES PLAYDOUGH MATS are a great way to encourage 1-to-1 Correspondence skills! The children will play and not quite realize all the important skills under construction!
For MORE ways to encourage MATH through PLAY, see our MATH SERIES for Preschool and Kindergarten!
REINDEER THEME ACTIVITIES from THE #PLAYFULPRESCHOOL TEAM:
Swat the Letter: Reindeer Preschool Literacy Activity from Learning 2 Walk
Alphabet Activities: Reindeer Roll from Growing Book by Book
Reindeer Preschool Activities with Play Dough and Songs from Life Over C’s
Palm Print Reindeer Craft and Poem from Capri +3
Racing Reindeer Number Line Activity from Mom Inspired Life
Reindeer Christmas Snacks for Kids from Fun-A-Day
Reindeer Math Games for Preschool Learning from The Educators’ Spin On It