Last week I shared the bear cave craft and alphabet activities we did for our forest theme. We also used the bear cave for a couple of math activities.
Bear Counting Game
We started with our bear cave, a number cube, and small bears. We had some gummy bears, so we used those. You could also use small bear figures or teddy grahams.
The kids rolled the number cube and counted how many dots. Then they placed that number of bears into the cave. They continued rolling, counting and adding until they didn’t have any bears left on the plate.
They were still very engaged in the game by this point. Instead of ending the game they rolled the cube, counted, and removed that many bears from the cave. To include some math vocabulary, I gently introduced the concepts of adding, taking away, more, and less.
This game could be modified many ways to increase the level of difficulty. One idea would be to start with 10 bears in the cave. Roll the cube and remove that many bears. Then the child could identify the difference between the two numbers by counting how many bears are left inside the cave.
Tinker was intrigued by what the big kids were doing so I gave her a bowl of gummy bears and an egg tray. She immediately noticed that the gummy bears smell good, so she spent a bit of time picking them up and smelling them.
Once she was done exploring their scent, she started putting one bear in each spot on the egg tray. This is great practice for understanding one-to-one correspondence. Later when she ran out of spots on the tray she started grouping them by color. As she did I talked to her about the color of the bears and the word “same.”
As kids are ready you could also create patterns with the gummy bears.
The story we read to go along with these activities was Hibernation Station. We enjoyed the rhyming text and the chance to discuss the different animals who live in the forest. To incorporate a little math, we reread the story a second time to count how many animals were on the train.
Have you done any math activities related to bears?
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