Caterpillar Math Craft

You know we love a great craft made from recycled materials, right?  Recycled items seem to make a reoccurring appearance on our blog.  And, here’s a little secret:  I LOVE crafting and encouraging playful learning with recycled stuff because it’s re-purposing and environmentally cool, but it’s also FREE!  You have the materials already in your home, and are just going to be tossing them away (whether it’s into the garbage or the recycle bin…so why not learn and play first?)  We made this caterpillar craft from a recycled egg carton and added a math twist to add a little adding and 1:1 correspondence number counting to provide a multi-age learning tool for three of my kids, ages 3, 5, and 7.  (The baby just want to to pull the googly eyes off of the caterpillar.  Which is a sort of subtraction…)
Caterpillar craft made from a recycled egg carton. Use this for math concepts for preschool through grade school kids.

Math Caterpillar Craft (from a recycled egg carton!)


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We pulled a recycled egg carton from the recycle bin.  Cut one long section of carton.  Paint the sections to make the caterpillars body and head.  We love these paints for their bright colors.
Grab some yarn and have the kids snip little 2 inch pieces.  This is fabulous scissor practice.  Holding the wiggly yarn while snipping sections encourages bilateral hand coordination that is needed for managing paper and scissors while cutting shapes from paper and worksheets.
Caterpillar craft made from a recycled egg carton. Use this for math concepts for preschool through grade school kids.
Math concept:  Encourage your child to count the sections of yarn into groups of three.  
Tape the yarn legs onto the caterpillar’s body.

Glue on googly eyes and draw on a smile.
Caterpillar craft made from a recycled egg carton. Use this for math concepts for preschool through grade school kids.

Caterpillar math activity:


We played a few math games with the caterpillar.  
  • Count out craft pom poms, encouraging 1:1 correspondence.  Counting items is an important preschool math concept that is used in addition and subtraction in later grades.  My first grader often uses counting manipulates as a technique for adding multiple digit addition/subtraction problems and counting too quickly can lead to errors.  
  • Use the pom poms to feed the caterpillar.  Sort them into piles by color and patterns and make the caterpillar eat the pom poms by pushing them under the head.  Write out the math subtraction problems.  
Caterpillar craft made from a recycled egg carton. Use this for math concepts for preschool through grade school kids.

How cute is this little guy?  Make him and other fun recycled crafts for learning and play.

This post is part of the  natural parenting and earth month series at Allternative Learning.

Teaching Math Through Play

Math is such a fun subject for kids to learn.  They begin at such a small age with sorting, patterns, and then grow in their skills during each step of development.  It’s been really cool to watch Big Sister this past school year as she started to learn Kindergarten math skills and then become confident with those abilities.  She even said at her end of the school year Kindergarten graduation that her favorite memory of the year was “math”! 

There is so much talk about the “summer slide” that happens with kids during their summer break.  These ideas from the Share It Saturday link up are a great way to prevent the slide…or just have fun with math!  I love that these activities promote math skills in a fun way.  And, they don’t need to be done during the summer, they are perfect for year-round math fun!

We’re keeping the linky party live all month so be sure to stop back each week and link up your posts!

Playful ways to teach math
 

Playful Math Activities for Kids


LEGO Math Games from JDaniel4’s Mom

Montessori Math Trays from Racheous

Teach Multiplication the Easy Way from True Aim Education

Rubber Duck Math from Fantastic Fun and Learning

Patterns with gems from Dabbling Mama

Composing and Decomposing Numbers from Sugar Aunts

Nature Math from Sugar Aunts

Shape sorting and patterns from Sugar Aunts

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Check out who the other hosts are featuring today:
 Life & Lessons From a Country Road 

The Share It Saturday Pinterest board has loads of fun ideas for play and learning.
 
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You may like more math activities on our Playful Math Pinterest board: