Ladybug Rocks: Count and Play
Let's face it: math practice isn't always that fun -- especially when you're in first grade. Boost the fun level with this activity that's part art project, part math game. The best part? Your child will be able to play with these ladybug rocks long after math practice is finished.
What you need:
- Flat, oval-shaped rocks
- Red paint
- Black paint
- Paint brushes
What You Do:
- Use warm water and a bit of soap to clean the rocks. You don't want your first grader playing with dirty ladybugs -- plus paint and dirt make an unappealing mixture.
- Let your child put one coat of red paint on each rock.
- Set the rocks aside to dry in a warm, sunny place.
- Have your child apply at least one more coat of paint. Make sure you can't see the rock through the red paint.
- While your kid paints, throw in a little science lesson about ladybugs. Has your first grader seen a ladybug before? Does he know how ladybugs got their name?
- Once the paint dries, have your child paint the tip of the ladybug black (for the bug's face). It's best if he uses a small paintbrush so it's easier for his small hands.
- Carefully help him make a vertical line straight down the middle of each rock.
- Next, tell him to paint as many dots as he'd like on either side of the vertical line. Make sure the number of dots on each ladybug rock is different.
- Now it's time for the game! Put all the ladybug rocks upside down so your child can't see the dots.
- Ask him to flip two rocks back over.
- Give him a math problem to solve based on the amount of dots on each ladybug. For example, if there are six dots on one ladybug and five on another, ask him to solve the equation 6 + 5. If he gets it right, he pulls the rocks out of the pile. If he gets it wrong, he flips them back over and moves on to two more rocks. Keep the game going until he gets through all of them.
- Once he solves all the ladybug math problems correctly, he wins, and the game is over. He can play with his new ladybug rocks or make more rock creature buddies.
Let this ladybug counting game grow with your child! As his math skills develop, you can paint more dots on the rocks or start introducing multiplication and division.