Rainbow Hundreds Chart Puzzle

In this rainbow math activity, we used popsicle sticks to make a rainbow hundreds chart puzzle that was perfect for my kindergarten and second grade kiddos. (And, it would be a nice hands-on math activity for first grade, too.)  This is a multisensory math idea that combines fine motors skills with the colors of the rainbow to teach kids about groups of tens in a hundreds chart.

Combining numbers into groups of ten and those tens into hundreds is a math concept that is so important for so many math concepts.  We worked on fine motor skills to build the tens columns and combined them into hundreds to work on a few math skills.

Make this hundreds chart puzzle with rainbow popsicle sticks for multisensory math and hands on learning for kids.

This was such a fun rainbow activity for the season, but this activity could definitely be used year-round.


Hundreds Chart Puzzle

Amazon links are included below. You’ll need a few materials for this rainbow hundreds chart puzzle:

A punch like this one is perfect for building gross hand grasp strength. BUT, if you want this crafting project to move by faster than a snail’s pace, use a 3 Hole Punch. It’s perfect for working proprioception to the arms.  Fold paper into columns and slide it into the punch to get a bunch of holes punched at once.

Make a hundreds chart puzzle using rainbow popsicle sticks for multisensory math for kids.

To make the rainbow puzzle:
Punch a ton of holes from the white paper.

Sort the popsicle sticks into rainbow order on the table surface. Kids can work on visual scanning and visual perceptual skills for this task as they look for colors of the rainbow.

Next, Swipe the glue along the craft sticks and count out ten holes from the white paper. This is a super counting activity for kids to practice counting ones and grouping into tens.  

The fine motor work going on here is fantastic, too. Picking up those itty bitty paper holes is a precision grasp workout.

Punch extra holes from the colored construction paper.  

A rainbow popsicle stick hundreds chart puzzle is a fine motor math activity that kids can make.

 

And, you’re done!  Practice counting the numbers using the tens craft sticks.  Arrange them into groups of ten sticks to create a hundreds chart.  

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!
Use this rainbow math hundreds chart puzzle to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

Multisensory Math activities

Use this rainbow hundreds chart puzzle for a variety of hands-on math activities:

  • Sort the popsicle sticks into rainbow order.
  • Count the dots by tens
  • Add up all of the colors that are the same, being sure to count by tens.
  • Build two and three digit numbers
  • Practice addition with and without regrouping using the manipulatives as counters.
  • Practice subtraction with and without regrouping using the craft stick manipulatives.
  • Build a two or three digit number and ask your child to name the number.
  • Ask your child to name a number and then build a two or three digit number.

Looking for more ways to learn with rainbows?  

Rainbow learning activities for kids

 

Use this rainbow math hundreds chart to work on building tens and hundreds into a hands-on math hundreds chart activity, perfect for working on important math concepts and fine motor skills with kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!

Our favorite multisensory math activities:


Regrouping double digit math

Outer Space Regrouping Maze


Regrouping Tips and Tricks

How would you play and learn with this rainbow hundreds chart puzzle and math popsicle stick hundreds chart?

Take multisensory learning further with the rainbow theme. Try our new Colors Handwriting Kit. It now includes a bonus pack of fine motor, visual motor, and directionality pencil control activities.

Colors Handwriting Kit

Rainbow Handwriting Kit– This resource pack includes handwriting sheets, write the room cards, color worksheets, visual motor activities, and so much more. The handwriting kit includes:

  • Write the Room, Color Names: Lowercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Uppercase Letters
  • Write the Room, Color Names: Cursive Writing
  • Copy/Draw/Color/Cut Color Worksheets
  • Colors Roll & Write Page
  • Color Names Letter Size Puzzle Pages
  • Flip and Fill A-Z Letter Pages
  • Colors Pre-Writing Lines Pencil Control Mazes
  • This handwriting kit now includes a bonus pack of pencil control worksheets, 1-10 fine motor clip cards, visual discrimination maze for directionality, handwriting sheets, and working memory/direction following sheet! Valued at $5, this bonus kit triples the goal areas you can work on in each therapy session or home program.

Click here to get your copy of the Colors Handwriting Kit.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Fish learning activity

We had some fish learning activities based on a penguin theme going on for a while around here.  Penguin activities are so much fun for learning and play!  This fish learning activity was a fun way to explore letters, words, and numbers AND incorporate our penguin theme.  We did this learning and counting activity one day after we made our penguin themed snacks. Add it to the penguin yoga activity and penguin deep breathing activities to round out full-body movement and learning.

Use these fish learning activities to work on sight words, math, letter identification, or spelling words with whole body learning.

Fish learning activity

Penguin math is fun when it comes to catching fish for penguin food! Use these ideas for a polar bear theme, too.

We used sheets of scrapbook paper and construction paper to make fish shapes. Kids can cut these out to work on scissor skills.

Make a fish learning activity and kids can fish for words or fish for math problems. Great for kinesthetic learning.

Next, we drew a pond on a large sheet of crafting paper.  I wrote words, letters, or numbers on the fish. On some, I attached a paperclip or clip. We used a net (from a Bug Net toy) or a fishing pole from a puzzle set
to scoop up the fish like a penguin would. 

fish learning activities for math, sight words, numbers, or letter identification.

You could also use a magnetic fishing pole from a puzzle set to catch the fish with clips on them. We scooped them in numerical order or in alphabetical order and then in random order too. 

How fun would this be to read a few fun penguin books and then do some fishy counting to continue the penguin theme?

 

 

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Polar Bear Game

polar bear math game

Today, I have a hands on learning activity for second grade using a polar bear game. This number line games for 2nd grade could actually be used in any age or grade level math, however, the polar bear craft that we used for a second grade math game turned out to be a fun way to work on base ten operations and adding 10’s and 100’s to two and three digit numbers. In second grade, adding two digits is a big deal! This polar bear activity is a fun two digit addition games for 2nd grade (and other grades).

If polar bear crafts and activities are right up your ally this winter, try some of these other polar bear activities, including a polar bear slide deck for distance learning or virtual therapy brain breaks, and this cute polar bear self-regulation activity.

polar bear math game for teaching second grade place value and two digit addition with hands on learning.

Polar Bear Craft

You’ll need a few materials for the polar bear craft. Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

White crafting pom poms
(1 inch) White crafting pom poms
(1/4 inch) Black crafting pom pom
(1/8 inch) Mini googly eyes
Crafting glue

Polar bear craft

To make the polar bear craft, glue the small white crafting pom poms to the white pom pom. These will become the polar bear’s ears.  Glue the black pom pom to the bear’s face. This will become the nose.  Add the googly eyes and your polar bear craft is done.

There are a lot of fine motor skills being addressed in the making of this polar bear craft: pincer grasp, eye-hand coordination, in-hand manipulation, bilateral coordination, and separation of the sides of the hand.

Polar bear craft made with pom poms or cotton balls.

This polar bear craft would pair nicely with our snowball math activity, designed to inspire hands-on learning with gross motor skills. The polar bear math activity described here would also go well with our Winter Fine Motor Kit, which is loaded with polar bear themed fine motor activities and crafts designed to target and strengthen specific fine motor skills.

Polar bear math game for second grade base ten operations concepts like adding 10s and 100s to two and three digit numbers for hands on fun and creative learning with a fun polar bear craft!

Polar Bear Game

We played a polar bear game to boost second grade math skills by working on adding 10’s and 100’s to numbers along the number line.  I showed my daughter how to use a straw to blow the craft pom pom polar bear craft across the table and along the number line.  

We started the bear at zero and tried to see how far she could get the bear to go down the number line.  I then asked her a few questions that I had written out on cards:

  • What is your digit?
  • Is your digit even or odd?
  • What is 10 more?
  • What is 10 less?
  • What is 100 more?

We played a few times and then tried a few different extension ideas for this activity.

  • Starting at where the polar bear lands, count on by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s.
  • Start out by saying “We’ll add 100 to the number where your bear lands.” Then, practice counting backwards by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 100’s.
  • Use two polar bear crafts to practice single and double digit adding and subtracting.
Make a polar bear craft with craft pom poms and use it in a polar bear game in therapy interventions or the classroom.

This polar bear game would be a great way to work on aspects of numbers with a hands-on approach to learning. Use it along with this Snowman Math-Composing and Decomposing Numbers activity.

Polar Bear Sensory Activity

This activity doubles as a polar bear sensory activity as it offers oral motor skills work. By blowing the straw to move the craft pom poms, children experience proprioceptive input through their mouth and cheeks. This sensory input is calming and can be a regulating tool to help kids focus following the heavy work through their mouth.

Using the straw to blow the polar bear across the table requires some “oomph” because of the weight of the crafting pom poms.  Blowing through a straw is a great way to provide proprioception through a winter-themed oral motor activity. This is a fun activity for sensory seekers, kids who seek out oral motor input, and children who tend to fidget during learning or homework.  

Check out our January Occupational Therapy calendar for more winter-themed sensory activities. 

Challenge oral motor skills with proprioceptive input through the mouth using this straw and cotton ball polar bear craft.

Polar Bear Therapy Activities

If blowing the straw requires too much effort for your child, or you would like to try a fine motor activity, practice flicking the polar bear across the table. Keeping the bear on the table requires precision of fine motor skills, making it another way to use the polar bear craft in therapy and hands-on learning.

Additional polar bear therapy ideas include:

Use this polar bear gross motor activity to work on balance, motor planning, movement changes, and strengthening.

This polar bear science activity challenges fine motor skills.

Use polar bear crafts, pencil control sheets, scissor skills challenges, and more in the Winter Fine Motor Kit.

This Polar Bear Food Chains activity focuses on handwriting.

This Polar Animals Facts Game and this Polar Animals True or False? activity challenges executive functioning skills and scissor skills. 

This Polar Bear Footprint Multiplication activity builds hand strength, arch development, grasp, and coordination.

This Polar Animal Pattern Activity for First Grade focuses on visual perceptual skills. 

This Arctic Animals Sight Words Game develops visual perceptual skills.

For some penguin fun, this Penguin Art Project inspires fine motor development with a penguin craft. This Penguin Addition to 100 with Hundreds Chart builds eye hand coordination and fine motor skills.

Grab the Winter Fine Motor Kit, with 100 pages of done-for-you therapy activities, including polar bear themes. Grab it now before January 9th and you get a bonus of 3 fine motor slide deck activities.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE WINTER FINE MOTOR KIT.

winter fine motor kit

These reproducible activity pages include: pencil control strips, scissor skills strips, simple and complex cutting shapes, lacing cards, toothpick precision art, crumble hand strengthening crafts, memory cards, coloring activities, and so much more.

Play Dough Roll Mats- Use the 6 play dough mats to develop fine motor skills and hand strength needed for tasks like coloring with endurance, manipulating small items, and holding a pencil. Kids can roll small balls of play dough with just their fingertips to strengthen the intrinsic muscles.

Pinch and Grip Strength Activities- Challenge fine motor skills with polar bear and winter themed glue skills page, tong/tweezer activities, lacing cards, finger puppets, 1-10 counting clip cards, 10 toothpick art pages, find & color page, 5 crumble art pages. 

Pencil Control Worksheets- Connect the arctic animals or winter items and stay on the pencil path lines while mastering pencil control.

Arctic Animal Cutting Strips and Scissor Skills Sheets- Work on scissor skills to cut along lines to reach the arctic animal friends or snowflakes, snowmen, and mittens. This is a great way to strengthen the motor and visual skills needed for cutting with scissors.  

Handwriting Sensory Bin Materials- You and the kiddos will love these A-Z uppercase and lowercase tracing cards with directional arrows, 1-10 tracing cards with directional arrows, 1-10 counting cards. 

“I Spy” Modified Paper- Includes: Color and find objects in two themes: winter items and arctic animals; 3 styles of modified paper for each theme: single rule bold lines, double rule bold lines, highlighted double rule. 

Fine Motor Handwriting Sheets- Try the 4 Find/Color/Copy pages in different styles of modified paper, rainbow writing pages in 3 styles of modified paper.

Write the Room Activities- Using a winter theme, these Write the Room cards includes: 5 lowercase copy cards, 5 uppercase copy cards, 5 lowercase tracing cards, 5 uppercase copy cards, 6 cursive writing copy cards, 2 styles of writing pages.

Get the Winter Fine Motor Kit Here.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Halloween Math Activities

Halloween math activities

What if you could take the excitement and fun of Halloween and combine it with writing numbers, counting, and all things math? These Halloween math activities are a great way to use all that this time of year offers. We’ve shared Halloween occupational therapy activities before, but these ideas are designed to boost math through play! Spooky learning ideas, ghost math, pumpkin adding…there is a lot of fun to be had!  What a fun way to learn and play!  

Halloween math activities to work on addition, subtraction, fact families, near doubles, and other math skills with a Halloween theme.

Fine Motor Halloween Math

There is much research telling us that fine motor skills predict math skills in kids, so why not add the fun of Halloween with fine motor activities? Studies show that motor skills are significantly related to their mathematical ability.

Here are Halloween fine motor activities that double as math activities for counting, sorting, patterns, and more.

Pumpkin Math

In this fine motor pumpkin sticker activity, we made our own pumpkin stickers, and used them in a Halloween literacy activity. But, they are perfect pumpkins for math skills too. Use the small pumpkins to count, add, work on place value, and to sort into arrays for multiplication and division.

This is a great Halloween math activity for pushing into the classroom or to use in home occupational therapy via OT teletherapy sessions. Kids will need only three materials:

  • Orange construction paper
  • Hole puncher
  • Pencil or marker

Ask kids to use the hole punch to punch orange circles onto their desk surface. They can use their pencil or marker to add a small stem to each pumpkin. Then, it’s time to sort, count, add, subtract, and arrange into piles of ten.

fine motor pumpkin stickers to count and build motor skills for math

Ghost Counting

This ghost craft is one of my favorite Halloween crafts here on the site. Save up a handful of bread ties and use them for math activities, sorting, counting, and adding/subtracting. The cute spooky manipulative is fun and not scary!

You’ll need just one material for this, but you can add them to any sensory tray like we did, using dry black beans:

  • White bread ties

Slide them onto pipe cleaners to count and sort by groups for counting and multiplying.

ghost counting activity

Spider Addition

Use this spider math craft to work on adding, subtracting, and fact families. You’ll need just a couple of materials:

  • Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • White chalk, crayon, or colored pencil

Make the spider by following the directions in the spider math craft tutorial and then work on the math skills that your child needs to address. We used the creepy crawly craft to work on near doubles, but you could use this for any math facts!

Spider math craft

Scarecrow Place Value Activity

This scarecrow math activity is one way to work on place value math, but you could use it to build skills in understanding any addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division skills. Work on fact families, or writing numbers in different forms on each strand of the scarecrow’s hair. The options are pretty limitless! Be sure to check out the scarecrow craft tutorial for this activity.

There are a lot of fine motor skills happening with this Halloween craft, too!

scarecrow craft for a farm activities theme

More Halloween Learning Activities

halloween learning activities for preschool and toddlers. Math, science, literacy activities with a fall or Halloween theme.

Here are more Halloween learning ideas that build skills, including monster math, candy corn counting, fall math, and more!

Pumpkin Hunt Math from Still Playing School
Monster Math and Science from Artsy Momma
Candy Corn Literacy Games from Growing Book By Book
Pumpkin Name Game from Fantastic Fun and Learning
Candy Corn Math from From ABCs to ACTs
Fall Counting Activities from Preschool Inspirations
Fall Tree Number Matching from Mom Inspired Life

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Kindergarten Readiness and Executive Functioning Skills

Kindergarten readiness and developing executive functioning skills in kindergarten

Many parents of preschoolers have questions about preparing for kindergarten. There are kindergarten checklists and loads of resources online designed to address kindergarten readiness. One area that parents might miss when getting ready for kindergarten is the concept of executive functioning skills. Executive functioning skills develop from very early in childhood! These skills can easily be developed
through fun, age-appropriate play. Sound familiar? Combining learning and play in kindergarten is essential to build skills with an age appropriate awareness and at developmental levels. This is the exact way that children should be preparing for kindergarten!

Kindergarten readiness and developing executive functioning skills in kindergarten

Kindergarten Readiness

There is immense amount of pressure for children to be ready for the academic demands of
school, even from kindergarten. From the moment they walk in the door, most kindergartners
are pushed to be “little sponges” of the academic content to meet standards. However, most of us
recognize that this may not be the most appropriate approach to take. Finding engaging executive functioning activities can be tricky. The ideas here should be a great start to add to your kindergarten lesson plans or use in kindergarten preparations.


However, there are more child-friendly things that parents can do to help their children get ready
for kindergarten. Provide children with opportunities to be independent! Teach them the steps to
wash their hands (initiation, working memory, shifting, monitoring), how to blow their nose
(initiation, working memory, and monitoring), and letter recognition (working memory). Teach
them how to follow directions (impulse control, working memory, and shifting).

PREPARING FOR KINDERGARTEN WITH EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING SKILLS

Working on some kindergarten prep through play can involved executive functioning skills at the same time. Start here to understand exactly what executive functioning skills entail, but when it comes to kindergarten aged children, here are some of the executive functioning skills that can be addressed through play as well as tasks that will help them prepare for kindergarten:

Kindergarten lesson plans can include these reading and writing activities that build executive functioning skills

Reading, Writing, and Executive Functioning

Amazon affiliate links are included below.


There are many ways to integrate reading and writing preparation into play. Have your child
match uppercase and lowercase letters in games or at the store. This encourages working
memory (what letter they need to look for). Games like Zingo are great for teaching sight words
in a fun way while also requiring a child to use their impulse control, shifting, and working
memory.

More reading and writing for kindergarten:

Alphabet Discovery Bottle

Magnetic Letter Handwriting Game

Name Soup Writing Your Name 

Fizzy Dough Letters 

Handwriting Cookie Cutters

Kindergarten lesson plans can include these math activities to develop executive functioning skills to prepare for kindergarten

Math, Science, and Executive Functioning

Early math and science skills can be fun and easy to integrate into play! If the weather is
conducive, try hopscotch, saying the numbers out loud as you jump! For mental flexibility,
change the rules of how they go through the series: hop on one foot, jump on two feet, switch
feet, and so on. For older children or those who know their evens and odds, have them only jump
on the odds or only on evens.


For science, create simple science experiments, like vinegar and baking soda volcanos! This
requires initiation, monitoring, impulse control, shifting, and planning/organizing.

More kindergarten math activities to build executive function:

Caterpillar Math Craft 

Math with Checkers 

Cardboard Tangrams 

Play Dough Math 

Counting Nature 

Play and Executive Functioning

Play is critical, but with the push to be ready for academics, play is getting pushed to the side
However, without play, children suffer. They lack the ability to find joy in learning.

Outdoor play provides the opportunity for children to develop their executive functioning while
participating in child-led adventures! Taking a bike ride or a walk around the community, or
even playing basketball in a driveway, requires a child to demonstrate strong impulse control and
monitoring skills for safety. Red light, green light is also a great opportunity to work on impulse
control.

Outdoor play also encourages children to take risks while being aware of their surroundings.
Whether determining if cars are coming, stranger danger, or appropriate clothing to wear outside,
this is an incredible opportunity to encourage executive functioning development!


Can’t play outside? Build a fort! Planning/organizing, initiation, shifting, time management, and
working memory are critical for this.

Kindergarten play ideas to build executive function

Teaching Spatial Concepts 

Bugs and Beans Sensory Play 

Outdoor Small World Play 

Painting Toys in the Water Table 

Sticks and Stones Simple Sensory Play

Use these executive functioning games in kindergarten lesson plans and to prepare for kindergarten

Games and Activities to build executive functioning skills in kindergarten


Some family-friendly games include Outfoxed (initiation, working memory, monitoring,
planning/organizing, and impulse control) and Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game.

For less structured activities, think about making something in the kitchen, like baked goods. Making slime with a slime kit is another engaging way to build executive functioning skills.

For a less structured executive functioning activity, try making a bracelet from a bracelet kit that involves patterns or low-level direction-following.

For kindergarten readiness, focus on fun! This is a time of extensive growth, including in the
area of executive functioning.

For more executive functioning activities, grab this Executive Functioning Activity Guide. It’s full of strategies to address common executive functioning areas that impact working memory, attention, impulse control, organization, and more.

executive functioning skills activity guide The OT Toolbox
The OT Toolbox contributing author, Emily Skaletski, MOT, OTR/L

This post was written by contributing author, Emily Skaletski, MOT, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist in the Madison, WI area. Emily participated in the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association’s Emerging Leaders Program (2016), earned her level 1 digital badge in autism from the American Occupational Therapy Association (2017), received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Chatham University (2018), and was appointed the South-Central District Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association (2019). Emily has presented at both state and national conferences and is passionate about professional development. While trained as a generalist, Emily particularly enjoys working with clients with autism spectrum disorder and challenges related to executive functioning skills.

Place Value Scarecrow Craft

Scarecrow craft to help with math skills

Need a math craft idea that is perfect for this time of year? Look no further. This scarecrow craft can be used for any grade or age. 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.


Make this Scarecrow craft this Fall and practice math facts and addition or subtraction.  This is perfect for second grade math or any preschool or elementary age student, and a fantastic scissor skill exercise for kids.
 
 


Scarecrow Craft

 
This post contains affiliate links.  
 
To make this scarecrow craft, you’ll need a few materials:
Ivory Cardstock
scissors (THESE are my favorite brand and what I always recommended as a school-based OT!)
glue
Goldenrod cardstock
orange cardstock
Buttons, paper scraps, ribbons, etc.
Brown Paper Bag
 
Make this Scarecrow craft this Fall and practice math facts and addition or subtraction.  This is perfect for second grade math or any preschool or elementary age student, and a fantastic scissor skill exercise for kids.
 
To make the scarecrow craft (and totally sneak math into this Fall craft):


Scarecrow Craft for Kids

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 because 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 assistance with this part.  Cutting 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 scissor 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!
 
Make this Scarecrow craft this Fall and practice math facts and addition or subtraction.  This is perfect for second grade math or any preschool or elementary age student, and a fantastic scissor skill exercise for kids.
 
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 strengthening exercise for children.  They really strengthen the intrinsic muscles of their hands with paper crumpling.  What a workout this scarecrow craft is!
 
Glue the hat in place on the scarecrow’s head.

 

Make this Scarecrow craft this Fall and practice math facts and addition or subtraction.  This is perfect for second grade math or any preschool or elementary age student, and a fantastic scissor skill exercise for kids.
 

Scarecrow Math Craft

 
To make the hair of the scarecrow, 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 scarecrow, 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.
 


Place Value Craft

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!

 
Make this Scarecrow craft this Fall and practice math facts and addition or subtraction.  This is perfect for second grade math or any preschool or elementary age student, and a fantastic scissor skill exercise for kids.
 

Scarecrow Math Tips

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 different 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.

 

More Scarecrow Activities

Looking for more scarecrow activities? Below are scarecrow activities for kids that cover a variety of areas: math, language arts, art, and more. 
 
Stop by and see what our friends have come up with using this week’s Scarecrow theme:

Free Scarecrow Expanded Form Memory Game – Work on more scarecrow math with this activity and game from Life Over C’s. 
 
Scarecrow Syllables for Second Grade – Use a scarecrow activity to help with early literacy skills in this creative scarecrow activity from Look! We’re Learning! 
  
Scarecrow Measures – Another scarecrow math activity, this one from Crafty Kids at Home is a fun addition to a Fall themed learning plan. 
 
Scarecrow Silhouette Art Project – A Scarecrow craft that the kids will love is fun to add to your therapy plan. Use this idea from School Time Snippets. 
 
Scarecrow Compound Word Match Game – Work on more literacy using this idea from Creative Family Fun.
 
Scarecrow Craft with Landscape Another scarecrow craft the kids will love, use this one from Sallie Borrink Learning to work on scissor skills, too.
 

More of our Creative Math ideas:

 Commutative Property of Addition  How to Add with Regrouping  Use play dough in math  Bottle caps in first grade math
 

Get our Fall Sensory Activities Guide

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    Fine Motor Precision Math Engineering Activity

    This fine motor activity is one that works on the super small motor skills of the hands.  We’ve shared tips and ideas for building precision of grasp and release before, and this is one more way to build those skills, with a math and engineering twist.  If your kids are anything like mine, then they love blocks.  If I pull out a bin of blocks, then we’ve got ramps, castles, and houses all over the living room floor.  They are an imagination booster and it really is so much fun to see where the creativity goes with just a bin of blocks.  The OT in me loved this activity for it’s creative math twist and for it’s fine motor power punch!

    Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

     

    What is precison of grasp and release?



    (This post contains affiliate links.)

     
    Precision handling of very small items with controlled movement is necessary for dexterity in functional grasp.  To manipulate items with small motor motions, the hand needs to be in a functional position.  The index and middle digits must oppose the thumb with tip-to-tip finger contact and interphalangeal joint range of motion.  opening and closing the grasp on items with control is precision and allows the hand to grasp small objects from a refined area and enables the hand to release objects in a specific location.  



    Precision in of grasp and release allows us to pick up a specific colored bead from a tray of many colors and place it on a string.  We used foam blocks and small balls of clay to practice precision of grasp and release.

     

    Fine Motor Precision Activity

    Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

    Rolling balls of clay develops the intrinsic muscle strength of the hands.  It opens up the thumb web space and encourages flexion of the interphalangeal joints in the fingers.  Once we had rolled a collection of small clay balls, we used them to work on precision grasp and release with the foam blocks.

    Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

    One area that my kids have discussed in both kindergarten and second grade this year is the term vertices.  We talked about the number of vertices on different shapes and placed a small clay ball on each vertice.  Carefully placing the clay on each corner required precision to pick up the clay and to place it precisely on the corner.

    Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.

    Math Engineering Activity

    Once we had each corner covered with clay, we thought it would be fun to engineer a tower.  It was fun to explore the different ways we could build the towers using graded controlled movements to prevent the whole tower from falling.  


    This was such a fun exercise in fine motor skills and one we’ll be doing again!

    learning activities using foam blocks



    Looking for more learning activities with foam blocks?  Try these:


    Foam Block Process Art Exploration from Life Over C’s



    Roll a CVC Word Game from Mom Inspired Life


    Sticky Foam Blocks from Teach Me Mommy


    Making Ten Math Activity from School Time Snippets


    Foam Blocks Stacking Activity from Something 2 Offer

    Help kids build their fine motor skills especially precision of grasp and release with this foam block and clay math engineering activity that addresses shapes and vertices.



    If you liked this activity, you’ll love these:

     Motor Planning Fine Motor Maze hand strengthening activity

    Recycled Materials STEM Lever and Fulcrum

    I love reusing recyclables in crafts and activities.  One thing my kids might love even more is science and STEM activities.  We decided to use some materials we had in the recycle bin to make a lever and fulcrum.  This is a perfect STEM activity to do with the kids over the summer to promote learning, creativity, and problem solving.  The Summer Slide is a real thing and simple, easy projects like this one are fun ways to build skills as a family.  Our Lever and Fulcrum STEM activity led to cheers with all four of the kids.


    And when the kids are cheering for science, engineering, and math, it is perfectly OK for Mom to do an inner cheer, too.
    Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

    Recycled Materials Lever and Fulcrum STEM Activity


    There are so many items found in your recycle bin that can be used in STEM activities.  Today, we pulled out a few materials to build a lever and fulcrum.  We used a recycled chopstick, a toilet paper tube, and two coffee pods.  

    Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

    To make the lever and fulcrum:  Poke a hole in each of the coffee pods.  We used a sharp skewer to do this.  you will want the holes to be at the same height on each pod.  Insert one end of the chop stick into each pod.  Finally, fold the toilet paper tube into a triangular shape. The cardboard tube will be the fulcrum and the chop stick can rest evenly on the tube and act as a lever. 
    Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

    Now for the fun part:  It was time to play and learn with our STEM activity!
    • We added crafting pom poms to each cup and counted how many were needed to keep the lever even.  
    • We talked about the distance between the ends of the chop stick and how the fulcrum needed to be in the center in order for the lever to be even.  
    • We tried moving the fulcrum and measured the distance between the ends of the chop stick and the fulcrum.  
    • When the fulcrum was off center, we counted how many craft pom poms were needed to make the lever even again. 
    I was kind of amazed at how much all four of my kids were totally absorbed by this STEM activity.  It was enough to make me smile (and cheer some more, on the inside!) for their love of science, technology, engineering, and math.

    Build a lever and fulcrum with recycled materials in this STEM activity that is perfect for kids to do over the summer at home or at summer camp to prevent the summer slide!

    STEM Summer Camp


    Recently, I was invited to join a few other bloggers in a Twitter party to talk about Camp Invention, the only nationally recognized summer program focused on creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving and infused with the spirit of invention.  Camp Invention is a week long adventure that is sure to turn ordinary summer days into extraordinary memories.  I know my kids would love this type of summer camp program and so I was excited to spread the word to other families. 

    Camp Invention’s is a day camp for kids in grades 1-6 and includes a curriculum with a variety of fun and dynamic hands-on activities concentrated on the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  It’s programs were developed by some of the nation’s most brilliant and experienced educators, including Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

    Each year, Camp Invention updates it’s programming to provide returning camp attendees with unique learning experiences.  This year’s curriculum is called Epic™  and features hands‐on modules like:
    • CrickoBot™, where Campers construct 
      and personalize a DIY solar‐powered cricket with a unique habitat
    • Epic Park ™, 
      where Campers work in teams to design an eco‐adventure park
    • I Can Invent:Maker Studio™, where Campers brainstorm product ideas and build original prototypes using real tools and components 
    • found in everyday devices
    • The Lab: Where Pigs Fly™, where children can discover the 
    • science of slime, 
      demolition, electronic sound, giant squid and coding.
    What kid wouldn’t love to explore all of that STEM fun??

    Local educators facilitate and teach at Camp Invention.  With almost 1,400 camps across the nation, over 94,000 students have attended Camp Invention day camps. Find a camp near you.

    Does this sound like a camp that your kids would cheer for too?  

    Register your child for Camp Invention today. The 
    first 20 people to forward their registration 
    confirmation email, along with the name 
    of my blog, to communications@invent.org 
    will get a $25 refund.

    Full disclosure:  This post is brought to you by Camp Invention and The 
    Motherhood. All opinions are my own.