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
White printer paper
Black permanent marker
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.
Second Grade Math: Adding 10’s and 100’s
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:
We love creative math activities! Here are some of our favorites: