Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This old man, He's so fun, He put cereal on my One...

Olivia and I enjoyed a fun and simple preschool activity this morning.  Come along and you can do it with us!

And if you're looking for more fun ideas with a book + preschool activity, be sure to check the read-along archives over at my sister Polly's blog Helping Little Hands where this little post is being featured today.  (Thanks Polly!)

Note: My daughter Olivia is only 18 months old.  And while she is certainly a bright kid, we still try and stick to preschool activities that are short and sweet.  So our activity this morning probably lasted a total of ten minutes tops.  But I could see it going longer for older kids with longer attention spans.  :)

Okay, let's get started!

First, grab a copy of  This Old Man and read it together.  

A quick note about our book:  Our version (picked up at a yard sale, I think) was illustrated by Pam Adams.  I like this version okay, but it's a little too busy for my taste.  Mostly because it has math equations going on all over the page.  But maybe that's a good thing for older kids?  The other slightly odd thing about this book is that it only illustrates the rhyme up through the number six.  Seven, eight, nine, and ten are all bunched together on the last page.  Not sure what's up with that. 

If you don't have a copy of this story at home you could find the nursery rhyme online or at your local library.

Of course, Olivia's favorite part is this page.  See the kitties?

She always makes the kitty sound like it's a question.  "Neeeoooow?"  (Uhh... and with an "n."  Anyway...)

Next, pull out a few of your Number Flashcards...

...and a handful of cereal.

Set up the flashcards like this.

Practice counting as you put one piece of cereal on each dot.

 "One, two, three..."

Continue the counting fun until you have one piece of cereal on each dot.

And then, of course, count again as you take the cereal off and eat it up!

Make it fit for your kid!

Variations for younger kids:
  • Just use one number at a time to keep cereal from getting bumped off the finished cards.
  • Put the cereal on the dots yourself and count out loud so your child can get both physical and vocal exposure to counting.
  • Ask your child to hand you a piece of cereal.  Then you can place it on the dot yourself.  Little kids are just happy to help and be a part of the activity, even if it's not what you'd consider to be the "important" part.
  • Hand them a piece of cereal and show them where to place it.  Then let them try to put it on the dot.  If they don't quite make it on, help them move the cereal where it belongs.

Variations for older kids:

  • Use bigger numbers and let them place the cereal on themselves as they practice counting.
  • Have them choose a number from the pile of flashcards and count out the cereal for that number.
  • Set up a simple equation for your child such as "2 + 3 = 5."  Have them place a piece of cereal on each of the dots for the numbers two and three.  Then have them use those same pieces of cereal to count the number five.

About the flashcards:
  • The Number Flashcards shown here are a PDF that I created for my daughter.  If you'd like, you can purchase in THE SHOP.  Then you'll have your own set that you can print out as many times as you like!
  • These flashcards are for personal use only.
  • To learn more about what makes these math flashcards especially effective, read my post The Anatomy of Great Math Flashcards

Happy counting!


Find more fun and easy preschool ideas on the Preschool page.  You can also find them by clicking on the Preschool button in the header.  Enjoy!   


Julie Rosenhan said...

I love this idea. I'm storing this and all of Polly's read-along ideas to use when Karl is old enough!

Lisa Lou said...

There was toddler time at the library today and I wish that you and Olivia could come! And Sophie and Josie and Anna!

Kathy Haynie said...

It's a wonder you ever learned to do any math--I was never that good about math activities with you. I love these ideas!