Last week I shared the tutorial for this recycled penguin craft and a few ideas for using it for play and learning. We also used this little guy for some toddler and preschool math games.
Materials for Penguin Math Game
- Penguin container-Use the tutorial or another container that you have available
- Number cube-Use one with dots or numbers depending on your skill focus
- Goldfish crackers
Younger toddlers will be very happy feeding the penguin. This is great fine motor practice. And they also experiment with cause and effect as the drop the fish in the penguin “mouth” and listen for the sound of it hitting the bottom of the container.
With older toddlers you can add counting by simply counting the fish as they add them in.
Or if they are ready, you can have toddlers roll the number cube and feed that many fish to the penguin. Tinker loved this game and played it over and over again throughout our penguin theme.
Lovey is practicing combining sets, so this was a great activity for giving her a little practice with that skill in a hands-on way. To do so she would roll the number cube and feed that amount of fish to the penguin. Then she would repeat the process again, so the penguin had two “sets” of food.
Then Lovey would take the top off and empty the container. She reminded me that this was like when the mother penguins bring back food from the ocean to feed their babies. (Great connection!)
Next she would count the total amount of fish and identify the sum of the two addends. (Yes, it is good to begin using this vocabulary, as kids will be exposed to it in late preschool and kindergarten in most areas.) You could also extend this game by having kids record the addition sentence, but for now we are focusing just on the physical act of identifying and combining the sets.
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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.