Get Loopy! Make a 100th Day Necklace Activity

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Updated on May 18, 2011

Especially in kindergarten and first grade, you've probably noticed that the number "100" is a star feature of the math curriculum. By the end of kindergarten your child should be able to recite all numbers from 1-100; and by the end of first grade, you should see some impressive travels up and down the number line as young mathematicians grasp number relationships, addition and early subtraction.

That means, of course, that the 100th Day of School is usually a big, happy learning fest in kindergarten and first grade classrooms! Here's a cute, fun way to support that learning at home, especially if there's a friend or bored sibling hanging around, too.

What You Need:

  • Box of “Froot Loops” or other similar rainbow-colored “o” cereal
  • Length of clean string, about 24"
  • Scotch tape

What You Do:

  1. To prepare for this activity start by cutting a small length (about ½”) of scotch tape. Wrap it tightly around one end of the string to form a firm end, sort of like a shoelace tip. This helps little hands get strings through the holes in the cereal.
  2. Help your child tie a firm knot about 2" from the other end of the string.
  3. Pour out a large bowl of the cereal, and explain to him that he'll be making a necklace using exactly 100 of these o's. Here's the catch: in keeping with primary math standards, you'll be doing this a special way, counting by tens.
  4. Have him start with ten o's of one color, and string them on.
  5. He'll then move on to 10 pieces of a different color, and so on up to 100, until he completes a full rainbow necklace.
  6. These necklaces usually look great and are lots of fun to make. But before you tie it off and place it on his neck, take a minute to savor some important learning. Stretch the string lengthwise on a table, and invite him to join you in counting off by tens!

Did you know? The Latin root word for “ten” is “deca”—which gives us all sorts of cool terms today. Lay your necklace, for example, on a table, and arrange it so that each color makes one side of a geometric figure. Okay, it's a lot more complicated than normal first grade geometric figures, but it sure is fun…you've made a “decagon”!

Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.

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