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When I started hunting for letter F math activities, I couldn’t stop! There were so many fun ideas, and I didn’t even list all of them here. I guess I figured that twelve ideas in a post was pushing it. 🙂
1 – Counting & Recognizing Numbers 1-20: Numbered Frogs
I printed a set of counting frogs, labeled 1-20, for my Four to practice with. The first time through was a challenge. He wanted to quit at 10. He thought the 20 was a 12. After a few more runs, he had the hang of it.
2 – Classifying – Farm Animal Sort
Here is a very easy math activity you can do without any preparation. If you don’t have figurines, I’ll bet you have some stuffed animals! One afternoon my Two and I took out our toy barn and large collection of toy animals for an animal sort. I would choose an animal from the box and ask if it lived on the farm or not.
He always knew that the farm animals (cow, pig, duck, rooster, sheep, cat, dog) belonged in the barn and that the ocean animals live in the ocean, but he had trouble with some of the wild animals (no, a tiger, rhinoceros and kangaroo do not belong on a farm). We need to read some more farm books!
3 – Sorting – Flower Sort
This was an idea I found on Mailbox Magazine online. I created a set of 9 flowers that could be sorted in three different ways: by color, size, and center. My Four and Five had no trouble figuring out the first two ways and needed just a little nudge to figure out the last way. In the picture the flowers are sorted by size.
4 – Counting, one-to-one correspondence – Feed the Fish
I used these numbered fish patterns from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has a whole collection of math ideas using this fish clip art that she created. My boys made play dough worms to feed the fish. I gave my Two just the fish labeled 1,2, and 3 because he cannot count higher sets with accuracy. And since he does not recognize his numbers yet, I wanted to keep it simple. My Four enjoyed this for about 10 minutes.
5 – Number recognition – Frog Jump
I found these lily pads and was able to add my own numbers (1-10) to their pattern. Then I laminated them and taped them to the floor. The boys had fun jumping from number to number. We wore shoes to prevent slipping! If I’d do this again I would just laminate the plain lilypads and write with a dry-erase marker so I could choose different sets of numbers. You can find a pattern for lilypad to trace in this post.
6 – Shapes – Pattern Block F
You can get every letter in free pattern block designs from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I used my set of pattern blocks a lot as a teacher, and my kids have gotten a lot of use out of them as well. I recommend buying a set of your own.
7 – Shapes & Matching – Match the Frog to Its Lilypad
This is a great set of 16 shape clip cards which I printed from Making Learning Fun. All three of my kids (2,4 & 5) enjoyed clipping the matching shapes.
8 – Ordering – Order the fish shapes by size
Here’s more fish math from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We used this set of colored fish to practice ordering from large to small.
9 – Matching – Match firefighter shapes and shadows
By a fun coincidence, my moms’ group had scheduled a trip to the fire department this week. As a nice tie-in, I printed these firefighter shapes and shadows for my Two to match. These are part of a beautiful set of printables from Our Little Monkeys.
10 – Puzzles – Fire Puzzles
Also from Our Little Monkeys are these four simple puzzles. We don’t do enough puzzles around here, for which I feel a stab of guilt. Puzzles are so important for little brains (and big brains too!). These are certainly very simple, but they were a nice activity for my Four and Five – not too easy, but not frustrating either.
10 – Counting, Subtraction – Five Little Speckled Frogs
My singing Two was in love with this! And I knew he would be as soon as I saw the idea on Pinterest. I printed these five frogs from Picklebums. Then I attached craft sticks and inserted them into a paper towel tube with tiny slits cut into it. As we sang the Five Little Speckled Frogs song (see my Little Letter F Book for the words), we took out a frog each time one jumped into the pool.
Then we would sing again with a smaller number. “Four little speckled frogs…” We did this four or five times and would have done it more, but my Four wanted a turn.
11 – Classifying – Farm Animals & Byproducts
What a great learning activity! This is more science than math, but they all go together, right? I found this idea on Joyfully Weary (love that name!). I printed a set of cards labeled with farm animals and their byproducts. The animals were a chicken, duck, sheep, pig, and cow. Products were things like wool, duck meat, leather belt, and chicken eggs.
My Four and Five picked out the animals that live on a farm, and then we worked to sort all the products under the appropriate animal. I learned just how much my Four doesn’t know about this. More farm books, please!
12 – Counting, One-to-one Correspondence – Numbered Fruit Salad
This was just for my Two. I set out five bowls of fruit, each labeled with a number. He put that number of fruit pieces into each person’s fruit bowl for lunch. I posted about it here. Teach your toddler and make lunch at the same time!