Butterflies do some pretty smart work for the planet. Today, we’re going to borrow some of their smarts for this hands-on math activity that helps your child gain a deeper, more holistic understanding of numbers that will serve them in all their math lessons. The idea is to help your child see that numbers can be written a variety of ways, but to bring it down to a concrete level that will actually have meaning for them. Let’s get ready to play!
What you need:
- paper + access to a printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- laminator + laminating sheets (or you can use a sealing plastic freezer bag, but a laminator would work best)
- dry erase markers
- butterfly figurines (or you can use any counter manipulatives)
- our printable butterfly placemat
What to do:
Start by printing one of our butterfly placemat download and the circle numbers. Laminate both sheets, and then cut out the number circles.
When you’re ready to learn, set up your child with the worksheet, a dry erase marker, and 10 butterflies or counters. Explain that numbers can be written a variety of ways, so today we’re going to learn about the number numeral, the number word, the charted number, tally marks, and counting objects.
Write a number in the middle of the butterfly, 1-10. If your child is starting to read, see if they can find the number one word circle. (-) For younger children, you can put the circles in order to help them find the correct answer. Explain that this is what the number 1 looks like written out.
Next, ask them to fill in one of the boxes in the ten frame located in the upper right-hand circle of the butterfly. This is one out of ten.
In the lower left-hand corner, have your child count out one butterfly or counter. This is one object.
Finally, in the lower right-hand corner, have them draw one tally mark. (If you were with us for our Canada + Maple Syrup Unit or the Lights, Shadows + Rainbow Unit, you can remind them of the tally marks we made with sticks.) This is how you write “one” in tally marks.
Now that your butterfly is filled out, review the five ways we have created the number one. Then you can wipe the mat clean and go on to the next number. Do as many numbers as your child is interested in doing, and then repeat throughout the week and month to reinforce the lesson.
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