Scarecrow Place Value Math Activity | The OT Toolbox

## Scarecrow Place Value Math Activity

Kids can be resistant to practicing extra math facts and practicing skills that they've learned in school or homeschool.  But often times, math skills like adding and composing numbers up to 1000 in this second grade math activity NEED additional practicing at home.  So how do you get that extra practice in without pulling teeth (or pulling out your own hair!)??  Playful Math activities make learning and practicing skills fun. We made this Math Scarecrow Craft to practice second grade math, including place value and composing numbers...but you can make it age-appropriate for preschool on up through elementary-aged kids.

## Scarecrow Craft Math Activity

This post contains affiliate links.  To make our second grade math scarecrow craft, you'll need a few materials:

scissors (THESE are my favorite brand and what I always recommended as a school-based OT!)

Buttons, paper scraps, ribbons, etc.
Brown Paper Bag

To make the scarecrow craft (and totally sneak math into this Fall craft):

## Scissor Skills Activity

First, snip the Goldenrod cardstock into long strips about 1/2 inch wide.  Cutting the cardstock in long cutting lines is an excellent exercise in scissor skills.  The cardstock provides a thicker resistance than construction or printer paper.  This added resistance provides feedback to kids who are working on line awareness and smooth cutting lines.  You can draw lines on the cardstock with a pencil/pen, or if the child needs more assistance with scissor skills, make the lines with a thick marker.  Cutting the long strips of cardstock require the child to open/shut the scissors with smooth cutting strokes as they cut along the lines.  Cutting all of the hair straw strands for the scarecrow craft is quite an exercise in scissor skills!

Next, you'll have the child cut a large circle from the Ivory Cardstock.  We used a bowl and traced a circle, but you could also have the child draw their own circle.  This will become the face of the scarecrow.  Cutting a circle with smooth cutting strokes is a more difficult task for children than cutting strait lines.  Kids may need verbal and physical prompts to cut along the curved line with accuracy.

You can draw a hat-ish shape from the brown paper bag.  I say hat-ISH becasue a scarecrow often has a floppy and battered hat on his head, so a hat shape that looks mostly like a hat is just about perfect for this scarecrow craft!  Kids can cut the hat shape and may require more assitance with this part.  Cuttting a material like a brown paper bag is more difficult than cutting regular printer paper, so the flimsy-ness of the paper requires more skill and accuracy with scioor control and line awareness.  Jagged lines make this scarecrow look authentic, though, so feel free to add more snips and cuts into the hat, too!

Next, you will crumble up the paper hat shape.  My daughter really got into this part.  "Crumble up this paper?? Awwww Yeah!" Crumbling paper is a great fine motor strengtheing exercise for children.  They really strengthen the intrinsic musles of their hands with paper crumbling.  What a workout this scarecrow craft is!

Glue the hat in place on the scarecrow's head.

To make the hair of the scarecros, glue the goldenrod strips on the head and along the hat.  Cut a triangle from the orange cardstock for the scarecrow's nose.  Use buttons, paper scraps, and ribbons to dress up your scare crow, adding eyes, mouth, and any other decorations.  We received the buttons we used to make the eyes from our pals at www.craftprojectideas.com.  Add a smile and your scarecrow is ready to decorate walls and doorways this Fall!

But wait!  Make this cute scarecrow into a Math activity that the kids will Fall in love with.  Yep, I went there.

To incorporate math into this scarecrow craft, use those paper strips.  We made this activity perfect for practicing second grade addition skills.  My second grader has been working on building numbers up to 1000.  On the strips, I wrote a three digit number on the end of many of the paper strips.  She then chose different ways to describe that number.  She wrote out the number in words on some strips.  On other strips, she built the three digit number using Common Core strategies.  For example, I wrote the number 421 on one strip.  She demonstrated how to "build" that number by writing "400 + 20 + 1".  This technique helped her practice skills she's learned at school while understanding what makes up a three digit number.  She was able to identify the hundreds, tens, and ones in a three digit number.  Work on and discuss place value and number order with this activity.

The nice thing about this scarecrow craft is that you can adjust the math to fit any age...or just make the craft without the math facts for a super cute Fall Scarecrow!

How can you make this Math Scarecrow Craft work for your child's needs?  Try these ideas:
• Adjust the activity slightly by working on math facts.  Write a number on the end of the strip and ask your child to write the addition or subtraction problem on the length of the hair.
• Write the SAME number on the end of each strip.  Ask your child to write each strip with defferent math addition problems that make up different ways to reach the number.  For example, write the number 16 on each strip.  Your child can write 8+8 on one strip, and other strips with 10+6, 12+4, 20-4, etc.
Looking for more Second Grade activities from the Second Grade Blogger Team?  Stop by and see what our friends have come up with using this week's Scarecrow theme:

Scarecrow Syllables for Second Grade from Look! We're Learning!
Make a Scarecrow Literacy Game from Planet Smarty Pants
Scarecrow Measures from Crafty Kids at Home
Scarecrow Silhouette Art Project from School Time Snippets
Scarecrow Compound Word Match Game from Creative Family Fun
Scarecrow Place Value Math from Sugar Aunts
Scarecrow Craft with Landscape from Sallie Borrink Learning

More of our Playful Math ideas:

Be sure to follow our Playful Math Pinterest Board for more math ideas: