Ladybug Math Game

My girls love ladybugs. We’ve started spotting some in our yard recently, so I thought we’d have a little fun with a ladybug theme for this month’s Virtual Book Club for Kids. This ladybug math game can be adapted for toddlers, preschoolers, and children in early elementary school. It incorporates scooping, pouring, sensory play, and math.

Hands-On Ladybug Math Ideas for Kids-Counting, Addition, Comparing
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The Virtual Book Club for Kids is reading books by Mem Fox this month.  Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! was a perfect choice for my ladybug loving girls. Tinker especially loved hide and seek aspect of this book. She asked to reread the book over and over again, and each time she was just as excited to find the ladybug hiding on each page.

Yoohoo, Ladybug


I decided to build on that enthusiasm with our own twist on a ladybug hide and seek game. To prepare the math game I placed split peas in a large bowl. Then I added ten small ladybug toys. If you don’t have any, you could also use red buttons or red glass gems to represent ladybugs.  I cut two leaf shapes out of green craft foam, and set everything out with a scoop and a tray.

Counting Math Game

Counting Ladybugs-Toddler and Preschool Math Activity

For kids learning to count and practicing one-to-one correspondence play a “scoop and seek” game. Get a big scoop from the large bowl and pour it into the tray. Then add the ladybugs to the leaf. Touch each ladybug while counting aloud.

Ladybug Counting Activity

You can either add the ladybugs back in each time, or keep them out and continue playing until you’ve found all of the ladybugs. Tinker loved this version.

Comparing Math Game

To practice comparing numbers, add another leaf so that there are two. This time the ladybugs from the first scoop to the first leaf and the ladybugs found in the second scoop to the second leaf. Compare the two numbers. Discuss math vocabulary like more, less, greater, fewer, as many as, and equal.

Comparing Numbers-Ladybug Math

Addition Math Game

Add a writing utensil and recording sheet of some sort to the comparing math game materials and you can practice recording addition sentences to go along with the activity. See how many different addition sentences kids can find.

Ladybug Addition Game for Kids

Playing with a Partner

Both the comparing and addition games work well with a partner. Each child can have their own leaf. As they each scoop and count they can either compare the amounts or develop an addition sentence to go along the amounts.

Ladybug Math Activity for Partners

Get a Full Week of Insect Theme Learning and Play

Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.

This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Editable Name Bug Activity
2) Counting Insect Parts Diagram and Math Activity
3) Here is the Insect Emergent Reader (3 Variations)
4) Uppercase and Lowercase Alphabet and Hand Lens Letter Cards
5) Insect Life Cycle Recording Sheet
6) Insect Counting Puzzles (3 Variations)
7) Insect Patterning Cards
8) Insect Roll and Graph Games (2 Versions)
9) Insect Build A Word Mats
10) Lightning Bug Numbers Counting Activity
11) Insect Size Sorting Activity
12) Insect or Not an Insect Sorting Activity

Get Your Copy

Home Preschool Insect Theme Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Insect Theme Lesson Plans

More Fun with Ladybugs

Ladybug Small World and Art Activity

Ladybug Activities for Kids

Now that we’ve shared our activity with you, we’re excited to see what you came up with! Please link up your Mem Fox inspired posts to the blog hop linky below. 

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Mem Fox’s  books that share book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!

Virtual Book Club for Kids

Stop by and check out some of the other blogs that participate in The Virtual Book Club for Kids.

Toddler Approved– The Educators’ Spin On It– Rainy Day Mum– 3 Dinosaurs– Learn~Play~Imagine – Crafty Moms Share – Reading ConfettiInspiration Laboratories – Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas – Kids Yoga Stories – Enchanted Homeschooling Mom– Ready-Set-Read – Boy Mama Teacher Mama – PlayDrMom – Fantastic Fun and Learning – Growing Book by Book– Royal Baloo – The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Kitchen Counter Chronicles – Teach Preschool – Mama Smiles – Coffe Cups and Crayons – Juggling With Kids – Here Come the Girls

If you are looking for more book-related activities to try now, check out the Virtual Book Club for Kids Pinterest Board.

Looking Ahead to Future Virtual Book Club Authors

Below is the author list for the upcoming year.  Mark your calendars so you can join in and read along with us! Virtual Book Club Author List for 2013-2014

This post has been shared at some of these fantastic link parties.

More Math and Science Activities with Fizz, Pop, Bang!

Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.

It includes 40 educational projects and 20 printables including a set of build-your-own 3D shape blocks, engineering challenge cards and a range of math games.

Learn more about Fizz, Pop, Bang! or you can buy it now!

Buy Now-Fizz Pop Bang ebook with 40 projects for ages 3 to 8 and 20 free printable resources


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  1. Love your ideas. I couldn’t help but notice your ladybugs have 5 spots on them, you could use them for counting by fives! Also, we have a collection of bottle caps – lots of red ones – I think I’ll go draw some spots on some with a Sharpie right now!

  2. We love ladybirds. They are so cute. Great ideas for hands on maths.

  3. Thanks for sharing this activity and breaking it down step by step. I am doing a ladybug themed week with my kids this summer and am looking for math activities relating to ladybugs. I would love to know where you found the little plastic ladybugs?

    • Hi Angie! My small ladybugs are from an Instant Learning Center by Lakeshore Learning Materials. I am not sure if they carry it anymore though. I didn’t see an active link when I looked while preparing this post. You might use red glass gems or even red foam circles to make your own inexpensive version–or even let the kids make their own set of ladybugs. They’ll love them even more!

  4. I LOVE this! And what perfect timing as the ladybugs seem to be out in full force here these days 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing on Mom’s Library last week! This is one of my features this week.

  5. Thanks for sharing how a sensory bin can be used for math learning. Great stuff! Thanks also for sharing it at After School. 🙂

  6. Cute game!! I’m going to pin this for my son 🙂

  7. So fun! I love the themed ideas!

    Thanks for linking up with The Thoughtful Spot! I look forward to seeing more of your great homeschooling ideas!

  8. I had not discovered this Mem Fox book. Thanks for the introduction. Pinned.

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