Exploring numbers and learning to count are common skills to work on in many early childhood settings. Finding hands-on activities is vital for helping kids learn these important math concepts. Great children’s picture books are a perfect bridge into that hands-on learning. Here is a fun math book and a math center to spark an exploration and discovery journey.
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In this activity, children will listen to a read aloud, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. To extend the story, the children will create decorated number cookies.
Literacy skills covered in this activity include:
- listening: actively looking at the book while the reader is reading
- comprehension: retelling the major events in the story
- vocabulary: learning words relevant to the story (share, stare, and enormous)
Math skills in this activity include:
- representing quantities
- matching quantities with a numeral
Cookie Making Supplies
These are the supplies you will need to make the cookies for the activity.
- light brown foam sheets
- various colored foam sheets
- permanent maker
- cookie sheets (optional)
Reading the Book
Book: The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Gather the children close so that they will all be able to see the pictures while you read. Remember to read with expression. Let the kids say, “ding dong” each time the doorbell rings in the story.
As you read, emphasize the following vocabulary: share, stare, and enormous.
After reading, help the children retell the story in their own words. Ask, “Why did the number of cookies each child was going to get keep changing?”
Math Center Activity
Set up the math center as a cookie making station.
Cut 10 circles out of brown foam for each child. You will also need to cut out 10 circles of colored foam slightly smaller than the brown cookies. The colored foam circles are the “frosting.” Label each cookie circle and frosting circle with a numeral from 1-10.
Invite the children cut small pieces of colored foam to be used as sprinkles. This is a wonderful activity for children to practice their fine motor skills. The foam is easy to hold and cut.
Stock the station with a container of sprinkles, cookies, and frosting. You can also add cookie sheets as working trays.
Invite the students to make number cookies. They can match the cookie to the correct frosting piece. Then, they can decorate the cookies with the correct number of sprinkles.
Encourage conversation and comparison as the children are interested. Invite kids to talk about the completed cookies. “Which cookie has the most sprinkles? Does this cookie have more sprinkles or fewer sprinkles than that cookie? How many more sprinkles do you need to add?” Use math vocabulary as you talk with the children (more, fewer, count, total).
BIO: Jodie is the creator of Growing Book by Book where she shares book lists, reading and writing activities, and literacy building tips for young children. She is also the proud mom of 2 little boys- check out their themed book lists for the whole school year! You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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