We just got a new rainbow counting bear set. It looks so colorful and fun. Now we are exploring ways to learn with it. We have been doing a lot of math activities over at our house this week. Learning basics with counting bears or any other math manipulatives like legos will help kids develop number sense. Touching objects with their hands, helps them to connect the number they are counting with the amount of objects that they feel and see. Its always healthy to let your kids set the learning pace 😀
Follow us on Facebook
Here are few activities to learn math basics with counting bears..
My LOs loved using the measuring spoons (1 tbsp & 1/2 tbsp worked perfectly) to scoop and transfer the bears into the plastic egg carton. My almost 3 yr old counted upto 20 & started over again. Although my almost 2 yr old wasnt ready for counting, she just enjoyed scooping & transferring.
2. Sorting Colors
Some bear sets do come with cups which is easier for sorting by colors. The one we got did not include the cups. It didnt matter beacuse we had the same coloured cups at home. You could also use clear cups and name the colors or use color sorting mats. ( pic below)
3. Sorting by size
Most of these bears sets come in 3 sizes, so you can teach your kids to sort them into containers labelled “Big, Medium, Small”. Anyways we got the box of small bears (all same size) so didnt get to do any sorting with our bears.
Use color markers or round shaped stickers to create patterns on a white card stock. Ask your kids to match the bears to it. If your planning to reuse the sheet, you might as well laminate it. Or simply arrange the bears in patterns and let the kids recreate it (second image in the above pic).
You can create sequences with the bears and ask your kid what comes next- let them complete it. For eg. Create simple sequence AB (first sequence in the above pic) then you can intricate it for more challenge like AAB (third sequence in the above pic)or AABC (second sequence in the above pic) and so on. My LO was able to do simple AB sequence. We will get to the intricate ones later.
6. One to one correspondence
Place round stickers or trace the shape of the bears base, or just use markers to mark the dots onto the paper. Write the corresponding number and word. Use it to teach one-to-one correspondence, as well as number and number word recognition. Its good to laminate those sheets if you plan to reuse them.
7. Greater than, Less than, Equal to
Set out a small pile and a large pile of bears. Ask your kids which is greater, less, equal. Practice using these words. You could also reuse the sheets you created for activity 6 for greater than & lesser than.
8. Addition, Subtraction
9. Graphs & Ratios
How else can you use counting bears??
- Arrange them into shapes or letters. Use them to spell simple words.
- Use them in imaginary play.
- Put them in water and let your kids to fish them out.
- Add them to your sensory play.