Books are a big part of our every day. We’ve found that they become even more meaningful when we can connect activities with them. You’ve seen us do this with Zoo Looking, when we put together a zoo small world play scene. We also did a color mixing activity that related to Little Blue and Little Yellow. One of my very favorites, however, is a preschool math activity with the book Bear Counts. This is what I am going to share today.
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Preschool Math Activity with Bear Counts
What we used for this activity:
I often think of Bev Bos’ quote:
In fact, I use this quote whenever I come up with ways to teach our toddlers and preschoolers concepts. So, when I put together a simple counting and number recognition activity to go with Bear Counts, I used our bead sequencing kit.
Before we even read the book, I placed the bead kit on our activity table so the preschoolers could explore the beads, placing them on on the hardwood dowels. (Note: We purchased this bead sequencing kit for our older preschoolers who are ready to work on patterning. However, removing the pattern cards makes the activity more developmentally appropriate for 3 year olds. We love being able to adapt our toys for different age groups!)
They loved feeling the chunky wooden beads in their hands, and quickly realized the dowels could be removed. This turned into a fun fine motor activity!
During circle time, we read the book. Later, we did some related activities.
Counting the beads:
During small groups, I gave each child a number. They counted that many beads and placed them on the dowel.
As they were counting the beads, they touched each one.
I had also drawn circles on the white butcher paper that covered the table, making sure they were the colors of the beads. I placed a wooden number inside the circle and they had to find the matching colored beads and count out the number that was in their circle. This added some color recognition to the activity!
We then read the book one more time. We placed the wooden numbers on top of the printed numbers on the book’s page.
Then we matched the beads to the numbers according to colors.
How to you use books in your classroom? What activities do you create after reading?
More hands-on activities to try: