## 2nd Grade Mental Math Adding 10s and 100s with a Harvest Theme

Worksheets and kids are a tough mix.  My second grader plows through a long school day and then brings home a math wroksheet (among other homework items) almost every weekday.  We do the worksheet, but sometimes it’s hard to practice the math concepts when she needs to just practice new math ideas.  One of the strategies she’s learning in second grade is Mental Math.

Mental Math is simply doing math in one’s head, mentally (makes sense, right?) It’s the way that we figure out answers to math problems quickly, and without pencil and paper.  So, in second grade, my daughter’s been learning how to add 10’s and 100’s to single and double digits using mental math as a strategy.

This Harvest themed Mental Math activity was a fun one to create and even more fun to use.  We made harvest-themed fruits and vegetables and a cornucopia craft to go along with the math practice.

### Harvest Themed Mental Math Activity

You’ll need just a few materials to make this activity. (Affiliate links are included in this post.)

Recycled bottle caps
Glue

White printer paper
Black permanent marker
Scissors

Make a cornucopia shape from the Brown cardstock.  On the printer paper, use the finger paints to make fingerprints in red, yellow, orange, green, and purple.  You can read all about the importance of creating fingerprint art over here.  It’s a great fine motor activity that really works on a child’s finger isolation skills and helps with tasks like handwriting, shoe tying, typing, and more.

Allow the fingerprints to dry and use the black marker
to turn them into fruits and veggies.  We made tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, grapes, and a pickle.

Every cornucopia needs a pickle, right?

Cut out the harvest crop into small circles.  This was a great scissor skill activity for my preschooler.  We also cut circles from the Label Sheet
and stuck them onto the bottle caps.  Then, glue the fingerprint circles onto the bottle caps.  You could certainly skip the bottle cap step and just use the fingerprints, if you like.

Adding digits while lining up the tens and hundreds column is a little tricky for some kids.  This activity was a way to help with that and make it a little fun with a harvest theme.

I made a code for my second grader to figure out.  Each fingerprint fruit or vegetable equaled either 10 or 100.  We then chose numbers to add to the pumpkins, tomatoes, grapes, squash, and pickles.

Adding tens and hundreds this way made it a little more fun to practice mental math!

NOTE: I wasn’t able to get any pictures of my second grader doing this activity because of the dark light we’ve got after 4:30 pm.  Fall means yummy harvest fruits and vegetables and gorgeous colored leaves…but it also means darkness at 5:00 pm!  Yuck!

Looking for more HARVEST themed activities for your second grader?   Try these from the 2nd Grade Blogger Team:

Harvest Vegetable Soup from Crafty Kids at Home

Saving Seeds Science from Rainy Day Mum
Scarecrow Glyphs Patterns from Still Playing School

We love creative math activities!  Here are some of our favorites:

## Kindergarten Sight Words Cloud Dough

We’ve done quite a few sight words activities on this site.  What’s cool is that the activities that we did with my now second grade daughter are still fun and working great with my kindergartner son this year.  Today, I’ve got a sensory sight word activity using Cloud Dough.

Adding a tactile (and sensory) approach to sight words may just help the memorization of words “stick”.   We made this cloud dough that was brightly colored and smelled great using a few materials we had in the house.

### Cloud Dough Recipe for Sensory Exploration

To make the cloud dough, we used just a few ingredients (Affiliate links are included in this post):
3 cups Baby Powder
1/2 cup Baby Oil
2 sticks of Sidewalk Chalk

Mix the baby powder and baby oil with your fingers.  Use a Kitchen Mallet to crush the chalk into dust.
This is an EXCELLENT proprioceptive activity that the kids really got into.  Smashing that chalk into smithereens requires a lot of muscle power and “wakes up” the muscles to the heavy work of pounding that hammer.  Try this pounding activity before a quiet and calming activity like writing.

Sprinkle the chalk dust into the cloud dough and mix by hand.  You can play with the cloud dough without the chalk dust, but we wanted a bright blue color.

It took us a little bit of experimentation, (and blue hands), but we found out that mixing liquid food coloring into the cloud dough (even mixed into water or mixed into extra oil) will not give this sensory dough a bright color.  Instead, you’ll end up with dyed hands.

Now, start playing!

### Cloud Dough Sight Word Activity

Cloud dough is very fun.  It’s moldable and a great sensory dough to explore.  We decided to add sight words to this sensory bin.  I used bright index cards to write out Kindergarten sight words.  We cut the words into smaller sizes and hid them in the cloud dough.

#### To play sight word games with Cloud Dough:

Write two sets of sight words.  Play different games.  Some of our favorite games to play with sight words can be done right in the cloud dough:
• Play Memory with the sight words in the cloud dough.  Hide and turn the sight word cards in the dough.  Take turns looking for matches.
• Scatter one set of sight words in the dough and the other set outside of the sensory bin.  Take turns quickly looking for matches of words.
• Create small balls of cloud dough.  Push the cards into the dough and stand words up.  Ask your child to read the words and smash the cloud dough balls. This game is always a hit with the kids.
• Play Hide and Seek for sight words in the cloud dough.

We love creative sight words activities!  Here are some of our favorite ways to work on name practice in kindergarten through hands-on play.

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