Did you know that February marks a big day for your child? (Hint: It’s not Valentine’s Day). In February, your kindergartener is ready to celebrate a big accomplishment: they have been a kindergartener for 100 days. This is exciting stuff, and classrooms around the country are using this accomplishment as a way to celebrate and sneak in a little number sense too.
"Number sense" is really an intuitive understanding of the quantity of a number, or simply how many things make up that number. That’s why kindergarteners spend so much of their math time using manipulatives to build and rebuild numbers: for something to be intuitive, it takes a lot of practice!
Kids have a hard time conceptualizing such a big number as "100." Giving children opportunities to examine this big number is useful in building their understanding of quantity. Plus, it represents an opportunity to enjoy a school-wide party! The 100th day of school is celebrated from kindergarten to fifth grade. And this 100th day of school is only the first of many more 100 day celebrations to come. Here are ten ways to make it meaningful for your five-year-old.
- Make a necklace out of Cheerios or fruit loops using 100 pieces. Your five-year-old probably can’t count to 100 with 1 to 1 correspondence yet, but she can count to 10. So have her make 10 groups of 10, then string them on a piece of yarn.
- Make a list of 100 fun things to eat.
- Make a stack of 100 pennies (first have her make 10 stacks of 10).
- Build something using exactly 100 Legos.
- Make 100 item trail mix using 10 of each ingredient: 10 pretzels, 10 chocolate chips, 10 raisins, 10 almonds, 10 pieces of cereal, 10 peanuts, 10 pieces of banana chips, 10 M&Ms, 10 pieces of popcorn, 10 goldfish crackers.
- Try to bounce a ball 100 times.
- Make a 100th day of Kindergarten crown.
- Blink your eyes 100 times.
- Have your child draw a picture of what they will look like when they are 100 years old and finish the sentence “When I am 100 years old I will_________.”
- Measure and mark off 100 of your child’s footsteps. Then do the same for your foot steps and compare the difference!
These activities are more than just something to do on the 100th day of school. They give your kid a chance to experience how much "100" is in terms of quantity. Teaching number sense is an important math standard in kindergarten and it takes a lot of practice. So go ahead and have 100 barrels of fun in honor of your five-year-old's 100th day of school!