Bottle Cap Math Activity

This bottle cap math activity doubles as a fine motor activity to develop precision, in hand manipulation skills AND counting by tens using bottle cap math!

Bottle Cap Math

Big Sister is working her way through first grade and loves when she has math homework.  She works hard at math but when she “gets” the concept, she rocks it.  Sometimes, we need to work a bit on some of the math ideas.  (I think she gets her math skills from her mom).  So, when we get worksheets for math homework, I like to put together hands-on activities to build on the concepts she learns at school.  
The extra work helps a lot and it is more fun for her to practice math ideas with manipulatives rather than worksheets.  We practiced 10 frames activities with bottle caps one day and worked on a few first grade math ideas that Big Sister’s been practicing in worksheet form.

This was fun!

First Grade Math Activity

bottle cap math
I love using things like bottle caps in OT kids crafts and activities.  It’s something that you’ve got around the house, and it’s free!  You can’t really find an item that is more perfect for sorting, letter play, art, or crafting!
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I pulled out our stash of bottle caps, but only grabbed a couple of colors.  I wanted this activity to focus on what was IN the bottle caps vs. the color of the cap.

We used some (Amazon affiliate link) dried chickpeas and a few other dried items to fit right into the caps.  I had Big Sister count out the chickpeas into piles of 10.  We popped them right into the caps.

Big Sister counted the bottle caps in groups of tens and I added a handful of chickpeas to the side.  She then had to figure out the total number, counting the tens and the ones.

Counting out the 10 items is a great beginning math concept for first graders.  She’s counting the manipulatives with one-to-one correspondence and placing them into groups of tens.  We practiced counting by tens as we moved the bottle caps around on the paper.

I also pulled out a bag of dried black beans and she counted out groups of tens of those, too.

Big Sister counted by tens to add the caps with chick peas and the caps with black beans to get a total number of  items.  When we had 10 bottle caps of 10 items, we stacked them into a pile to make a hundreds column.

I pulled out the dried elbow macaroni and we added these lids, too.

Four tens and one ones makes 41.  She really got into this kind of math practice.

When she got tired of the math practice, we pulled out the animal figures and pretended to feed the animals.

Let us know if you do this math activity! We love to hear from our readers.  
Looking for more first grade math activities?  Try these:

bottle cap math