Activity:

3.5 based on 71 ratings

### What You Need:

• Piece of heavy cardboard, or plywood
• Scissors
• Piece of flannel large enough to cover the board, and wrap around it
• Stapler, or duct tape
• Felt in a variety of colors

### What You Do:

1. Wrap the flannel around the plywood or cardboard. Use a stapler or duct tape to secure the flannel to the back of the board.
2. Cut two large leaf shapes out of felt. Then cut out ten ladybugs that are small enough to fit within each leaf shape.
3. Let your child explore and play with the cut-out shapes for a few minutes, discussing what you can do with these little critters and leaves. The way that these boards work is that felt naturally “sticks” to flannel. There’s no need to attach it with Velcro or glue.
4. If he’d like, allow your child some time to decorate the felt pieces with fabric paint. Personalizing makes things more interesting!
5. Ready for action? Let your child know that you’re going to tell him a story called The Hungry Ladybugs, and that while you’re telling the story, you’d like for him to act it out, using the felt pieces. You can create all sorts of stories to help kids get tactile practice with math. But here’s one to get you started: “One day, 3 very hungry ladybugs were looking for a snack. They spotted a leaf and decided that it would be a great place to get some food. Can you help the ladybugs climb onto the leaf to get a snack?”
6. Pause while your child places 3 ladybugs on the first leaf. Then continue, “The rest of the ladybugs were not feeling hungry and wanted to take a nap, so they spotted another leaf that looked like a good resting spot."
7. Make sure the remaining 7 get to their napping leaf and then ask your child: “How many ladybugs are hungry and napping on two leaves?” Your child should be able to count up the ladybugs and answer 10. Show him with paper and pencil the addition fact that goes with this word problem for reinforcement: 7 + 3 = 10