Looking for math activities with counting bears? You’ll find ideas in here for toddlers all the way through second grade!
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We had a set of bear counters in our closet that were just sitting there, so I spent the last couple of weeks finding math ideas for my toddler, preschooler, kindergartner, and second grader. If you have a set of bears, all the activities are free! And if you don’t have bears, you can use another colored manipulative instead.
Math activities with counting bears
1 – Colors – Color Sorting
My 2 1/2 year old loved these color sorting mats! Read more about them and get your free printable mat in this post.
2 – One-to-One Correspondence, Counting – Bears on the Dots
My Two has started rote counting (“One, two, four, five, seven!”) and can easily count objects up to two. In an attempt to move him past that, I printed these colorful dot cards from Prekinders. We used just the cards with 1,2, and 3 dots, but you can find cards with up to 10 dots at her site.
My little guy loved matching the colored bear to the dot, and I counted along with him as he worked. Our little learning session was under five minutes, which is quite typical for this age. What a great way to introduce one-to-one correspondence!
3 – Addition, Number Sense – Bears in Ten Frames
The math curriculum at my kids’ school has a strong focus on ten frames, so I was excited to find some wonderful ten frame teaching ideas at Boy Mama Teacher Mama. I printed these frames for free and used them in a game with my Five and Seven. They each rolled a die, put that number of bears on the frame, and then chose a different color of bears to fill in the rest of the frame. Finally, they wrote an addition problem to show an answer up to ten.
For example, rolling a 3 would mean putting three bears of one color on the frame and putting on 7 bears of another color. Then they wrote “3+7=10.”
4 – Graphing – Counting Bear Graph
5 – Patterns – Bear Counter Pattern Strips
I created 25 bear counter pattern strips for preschoolers. My Four, who isn’t crazy about doing pattern activities, did the entire pack by himself in the back seat while driving to pick up his sister from school! These are designed to be simple, but kindergartners may also benefit. You can get them in this post.
6 – Problem Solving, Logic – Counting Bear Problem Solving Cards
I wrote a whole post about these fun problem solving cards. You’ll find both simple and more challenging problems. I’m not talking about simple addition and subtraction. Instead, you’ll find things like “You have eight bears. Half are green. Two are red. You have the same number of blue bears as red bears. What bears do you have?” You could put them in your purse with a bag of bears and do them in the waiting room (thanks to Amanda at The Educators’ Spin on It for that idea)! Visit this post to learn more and get your free printable.
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