# Raccoon Craft for Math and Fine Motor

We made this racoon craft many moons ago, when my oldest was in second grade. She’s now a sophomore in high school, and I have to say that those years went by like a flash. This post was originally written in October, 2015 and I’m just updating it now with some tips about how to use the racoon craft to support fine motor development. One thing is for certain; this fine motor math craft still remains as cute as it did all those years ago!

This is a clothespin activity that supports development of many areas of motor skills AND learning regrouping in math!

## Racoon Craft

I love that this racoon craft supports fine motor skills. Not only by making the craft, but by playing with the racoon clothes pin, there are some big fine motor benefits. Plus, it’s a fine motor STEM activity that kids seem to love.

There are so many benefits to using the clothes pin as a fine motor tool in math (and in kids crafts)!

For example, when manipulating clothes pins, fine motor contributions include:

Similarly, the fine motor contributions that are needed for threading beads includes:

• Arch development
• In-hand manipulation
• Eye-hand coordination
• Open thumb web space
• Tripod grasp/pincer grasp
• Finger isolation
• Thumb opposition
• Wrist extension
• Dexterity
• Bilateral coordination

We made a video that shows how manipulating and pinching clothes pins promotes grasp development. Check it out here:

In the video, we show how to use the clothes pins to work on pinch strength and grip strength. You can use your racoon clothespin craft to do these things!

## Regrouping Math Activity

Second grade.  They say it’s the old third grade in public schools.  My second grader is our oldest, so I’ve no previous school years to compare the class work or curriculum to.  We are plowing through the first few months of school though.  We are well into a routine with schedules, homework, and have only missed the bus once.  (This is our best year so far in that area!)

While my second grader might be doing the stuff that third graders used to do, she is a trooper.  She works hard and she loves her teacher and her friends.  I mean, she even comes home from a long day of school and PLAYS school with her siblings.  While they have zero interest in regrouping addition problems, they are cooperative little students.

## Raccoon Craft

This Raccoon craft made the perfect tool to practice a math skill with my second grader: Regrouping Double Digit Addition Problems.  It was a fun craft to make alongside my daughter and turned out to be a pretty fun second grade craft, too!

## What is Regrouping Double Digit Addition?

So, we actually did a regrouping activity last year when my little future teacher was in first grade.  That activity was about regrouping single digits in addition.  Now, a whole year later, we’re regrouping double digits and feel like big shots.  Ok, not really.  But it IS a whole other column of numbers that we are adding, here!

Now, I’ve said it before.  I am not a teacher by trade.  In fact, I’m an Occupational Therapist.  So I don’t have a huge understanding of teaching techniques or educational standards and the like.  But, I do have the motivation that only a mom has when it comes to making homework fun, and easy.  I am so over pulling teeth to get homework done.  Let’s do a creative and playful activity to build on school-found skills and I’m good.  And really, when we pull in my OT-ness to the play and fun, it’s even better.  Fine motor skills, here we come!

Ok, ok back to what is regrouping question.

Essentially, regrouping in math is borrowing or carrying a digit to aide in a math operation. In addition, digits from the ones column are added to the tens column to add single or double digits.

My second grader is adding double digit numbers.  When the ones column of those double digits add up to more than 9, there is another tens to add to the tens column.

## Regrouping in Math Activity

Now, to practice regrouping double digit addition problems, you could do page after page of worksheets.  But if your kiddo is like mine (and any other kid out there), that will not go over well.  We made this sneaky little raccoon clothes pin craft to practice regrouping in math practice.

It’s a pretty easy craft that your second grader will love to try.  You’ll need just a few materials: (These are affiliate links.)

• Newspaper
• glue
• scissors

To make the racoon craft:

1. Start by cutting a strip of newspaper to fit on the front of the clothes pin.
2. You’ll also want to cut a small circle for the raccoon’s head, and a tail-ish shape.
3. Glue the newspaper strip to the front of the clothes pin.
4. From the black cardstock, cut small strips to make the raccoon’s eye mask, tow triangle ears, and stripes for the tail.
5. Glue all of these paper pieces into place.
6. Add the googly eyes and draw on a cute little smile.  That raccoon is done and ready to help with regrouping.

## Regrouping Raccoon and Double Digit Addition

We decided that since raccoons are pretty sneaky and sometimes steal garbage from trash cans, that our Regrouping Raccoon would be the perfect buddy for stealing numbers from the ones column and placing them over in the tens column.  We practiced with a problem or two and added up the ones column.  If the total had 10 or more, than that sneaky little raccoon helped us move the ten over to the tens column.  Fun, right?

Now, grab a sheet of regrouping addition problems.  We used a homework page, but you could just write out problems on a piece of paper.

As my daughter did the double digit math problems, I had her clip the raccoon onto the edge of the paper if it was a regrouping problem.  For the problems that did not require regrouping, we just left the raccoon in place.

We ended up making a few more raccoon pinch clothes pins and had a family of raccoons!

More second grade activities you will love:

We have a few other resources that might help as well. These are free tools you can find on The OT Toolbox and all three include free downloads. These would go great with our racoon craft activity!

Use the forest sensory path with our racoon craft to support self regulation needs.

Add our forest animal visual discrimination worksheet to your therapy toolbox to work on visual scanning, visual form constancy, and other visual perceptual skills.

And, use our forest animal puzzles to work on scissor skills and visual motor skills.

I hope the racoon craft and all of the tips in this activity supports development! Have fun!

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making \$3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.