Chances are your kindergartener loves stickers. They're fun for crafts and simple play, but did you know they can also be used for math practice? Here's a sneaky way to get your child counting: place a few stickers on a sheet of paper, then have her match them one-for-one. Teachers call this activity one-on-one correspondence, which is important for your kindergartener's understanding of counting, numbers, and basic addition. And with stickers involved, she won't mind the practice at all!
What You Need:
- 2 sets of different, non-assorted stickers (stickers in simple shapes and solid colors work best here, such as a sheet of stars, hearts, or smiley faces)
- 5-10 sheets of colorful paper
What You Do:
- Fold the sheets of paper in half hamburger-style, then cut them in half along the crease.
- On each sheet of paper, arrange a set of stickers in a line (vertically on some, horizontally on others). Stick anywhere from 1 to 10 stickers on it, and vary the number from page to page.
- When you're finished, spread the pages out on a table or floor. Tell your child that you've been hard at work making some beautiful sticker art, but that they're missing something.
- Give her a sheet of stickers different than the ones you used. If you used the stars, hand her the hearts. This way you'll be able to tell your sets apart without getting mixed up.
- Ask her to add one sticker for every sticker that you've put on the page. For example, if you've put 4 stickers on the page, your child should put 4 more. Do one together to help her get started.
- Encourage your child to check her work. Ask her to point with her finger as you count your set of stickers and then hers. Compare to see if the numbers match.
- Hand her the marker and have her write the number of the set at the bottom of the sheet. For example, on the set of 4 there will be 8 stickers (your 4 and her 4) but have her write the number 4 (not 8) at the bottom. This is a sneaky but fun way to get your child practicing counting, adding, and writing numbers!
Lawren Allphin is a kindergarten teacher in Castro Valley, CA. She holds a degree in Psychology and has extensive experience working with Severely Emotionally Disabled (SED) children.