We have never done scary witches as such but both my kids loved Winnie the Witch and the witch from Room on the Broom. They always liked a friendly witch, one who would make funny mistakes. So when they were a lot younger we did some “witchy maths” and when I saw some of the new Halloween printouts I was immediately reminded of our witchy maths sessions and thought I would share some ideas.
These are the pages used in this post:
Counting and basic sums
Practicing basic counting and number matching always seemed like fun when the kids get to use fun items. We like the idea of matching the correct number of hats to the correct number.
More Halloween counting!
And you could also go for adding the correct amount of ingredients to the cauldron. The smaller cauldrons work well with craft beads and small craft pom-poms.
Cauldron maths - match the ingredients to the numbers
If you want to use some jumbo tweezers or a tea strainer (yes a good old fashion tea strainer is excellent for hand strengthening) I like the cauldron colouring-in page,
Using the cauldron colouring page with a pair of tweezers and magnetic letters
Introducing story sums
I really believe that the earlier you introduce the concept of a story sum the less intimidating it is when they are older and I think the witch’s hats and cauldrons could work really well for this. You could draw a simple table or cupboard (and I really do mean simple - when I did this with my daughter she tried to copy the drawings I did and I found that if I kept my drawings simple she would have success with her drawings and end up being encouraged to try more).
Story sums with a witch's cupboard
Then you start by placing some witch’s hats and possibly cauldrons into the cupboard. Ask the kids as question like - “I already have 2 hats in my cupboard but I go shopping and buy 2 more hats how many will I have?”
The idea being that the kids then add the extra 2 hats to the cupboard and see the answer for themselves. You can build onto this in lots of different ways, including introducing subtraction. “If I had 2 cauldrons in the cupboard and I take 1 out to use how many will be left?”
We also encouraged the kids to come up with their own scenarios. (And in case you were wondering some were very creative.)
The idea of story sums also works really well with the witch’s cauldron. You can keep it simple and just say you have already added 2 ingredients and need to add 3 more - how many are there now ?
Adding ingredients to the cauldron
Or, if you have a child like my son you can add a bit of flair – the witch has already added 2 frog’s legs to the cauldron and now wants to add in 3 juicy worms – how many ingredients is that in total? If you feel like laminating the pages then water beads work really well as ingredients for a cauldron – my son told me they felt sticky like real witch’s ingredients would feel.
Introducing counting in 2’s with the witch’s feet cards
For older children, the witch’s feet are perfect for counting in 2’s.
It can be simply matching the correct number of feet to the correct number. (Great for creating your own home-made counting in 2’s poster).
Matching witch's feet cards to the correct number
And once they have understood counting in 2’s you can introduce the two times table.
Introducing the 2x times with the witch's feet card
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 6 and 9. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on Maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.
You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.