I was recently on the site looking for some doubling and halving cards for my son when I ended up in the mix and match number card section and I stumbled upon two different sets which I think work perfectly together: the mix and match number symbol cards and the mix and match dot cards. I love how colourful and cheerful they look (there is no reason for maths cards to be boring).
Number and dot matching cards, ready to be cut out
But it is not just the colourful nature of the cards that I like, I also like the fact that you could use them for so many activities. I love printouts that we use multiple times.
The obvious use is match the correct number to the correct set of dots.
Matching the numbers to the correct dot cards
But they are also perfect for one to one correspondence and you could use almost anything – small toys, beans, dried pasta, beads, buttons, playdough balls. I always liked using playdough for counting and number activities because the kids are getting that sensory input and they always seem to concentrate for longer when they are involved in the activity, using their hands.
One to one correspondence using playdough
My other favourite was pompoms – those craft pompoms that you can buy in any craft store or even in the big supermarkets. I liked combining the pom poms with giant tweezers. My kids always loved using their giant tweezers and it is great way to include some hand strengthening while they are working on their numbers.
One to one correspondence with pompoms
If you don’t have giant tweezers, good old tea strainers also work really well. My son still loves using my old tea strainer in his games and it really is great as a hand strengthening activity.
Use an old tea strainer to help work on hand strengthening
You could also bring in some magnetic numbers if you have any and get the kids to match the correct number to the correct set of dots. Whenever I use magnetic numbers I am always tempted to hide them in a sensory tub of some sort. One of my son's favourites was always a mixed bean tub (just a combination of all kinds of dried beans), while my daughter always liked her button and beads tub (a combination of all the old buttons I had mixed in with all type of beads, including some maxi hama beads and mini beads left over from crafts).
Match the numbers to the dot, using a sensory tub of beans
I always think numbers cards work best when you mix and match whatever sets you have on hand so the kids can get multiple examples of the same concept. I believe in lots of practice when it comes to maths. So why not mix the spots with the numbered teddy bears (we LOVE these teddy bears).
Matching the teddy bears to the dot cards
Matching different maths card sets together
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 8 and 10. 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.