Monday, March 17, 2008

More Spring Things: Math Eggs

And you thought those eggs were just for Easter morning! If you're like me, you likely have a zillion just hanging out in your cupboard.

What you need:

12 small plastic easter eggs, each numbered from 1-12 with a felt pen
1 old egg carton (storage, and the kids love them)
small items to put in each egg to correspond with the number printed on them

What you put in the eggs doesn't have to be anything exciting, but should be something your kids will find fun to count. You can use food such as chocolate chips, M&Ms, raisins, or goldfish crackers. Non-food items could be stickers, erasers, plastic animals, etc. Be creative!

How to Play:

-hide the eggs
-child finds them and puts them in the carton without opening them
-at a table or on the floor, open one egg at a time and count what is inside, emphasizing the # on the egg AND the # of items in the egg.
-if the items are edible, the child can even EAT them after counting.

There are no hard and fast rules on how to play this. You can tailor it for your child, depending on their age. Some can't handle having eggs hidden and not being able to open them IMMEDIATELY.

If that's the case, then we would play that we were "cooking" and I'd produce the carton, being dramatic that they were "magic counting eggs," and hand the child only 1 at a time. We'd pretend to "crack" them onto a paper plate, and then count what was inside.

For very young children, you can start with up to five eggs and then add more as your child catches on. If your child is proficient at counting, you can even begin making it an adding game by cracking open two eggs and seeing what you have all together.

This activity teaches kids how to count from 1-12 using objects, how to sort things into a sequence, and to associate a written number with the number of objects. Once they master that, you can even add another carton of eggs from 13-24!

Of course, it's just fun too, and gives me an extra use for those plastic eggs!

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