9 Maths Games to Play With Lids

Plastic lids are a fabulous tool for playful learning and they’re free! Here are 9 fun maths inspired games for toddlers and preschoolers to play with LIDS!

9 Maths Games to Play with Lids

1. Count them: As I shared in this post – Beyond Number Names: Supporting Children As They Learn to Count, children who progress well in mathematics, at least in the early years of preschool and school, have a good understanding of the cardinal principle and its application. And them best way to develop this understanding is lots and lots of opportunity for toddlers and preschoolers to count groups of objects (initially with you, and later independently), especially groups of more than three. I love that counting is such a simple learning activity that you can really take anywhere!

2. Sort by colours: Revise colours with preschoolers with lots of sorting and asking questions such as, “Can you find me a pink lid?” and “Which colour is Mummy holding?”

9 Fun Maths Games with Lids. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

3. Match lids to bottles: One morning when making Immy was almost two, I passed her a bottle and three lids – one fit the bottle, the other two were too big. Problem solving, toddler-style! The conversation we had as she tried to find the right lid and put it onto the bottle reinforced lots of math words and concepts – related to size and colour. This activity also encourages trial and error and perseverence.

As a variation,  provide your child with a tub containing a few containers of different sizes and shapes and their lids. They love matching the right lid to each container.

9 Fun Maths Games with Lids. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

4. Make your own matching textures game: Commercial, wooden versions of these available from Montessori retailers cost $20+ Mine cost virtually nothing!  I used wadding, bubble wrap, felt and sandpaper in the example above, gluing a small piece into each lid. Making two lids for each texture makes a simple matching game.

9 Fun Maths Games with Lids. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

5. Make your own sorting game: I cut one large and one small round holes and one thin, rectangular hole in the lid of an ice cream container. Immy had a great time testing to see which lids fit into which holes.

9 Fun Maths Games with Lids. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

6. Size sequencing: For preschoolers, collect lids of all different sizes and work with your child to sequence them from smallest to largest.

9 Fun Maths Games with Lids. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

7. Patterning: Preschoolers, kindergarteners and children in the early grades will enjoy making repeated patterns with collections of two, three or even four different coloured lids.

8. Sequencing numerals: Again for those in kindergarten and up, reinforce recognition of and sequence of numerals 0-10 or  0-20 by marking one numeral on each lid with a permanent marker pen.

9 Fun Maths Games with Lids. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

9. Counting match game: Match the correct number of spots with the corresponding numeral (again, mark the top of each lid with a permanent marker). Or turn all of the lids over for a game of memory match or concentration (see more about concentration and other short term memory games here).

Do you have a fun game to play with lids?

Explore Colour with Kids
Kaleidoscope:Hands On Explorations in Colour (and Color!) for Kids. A fabulous new resource for kids aged 5 to 55. Awesome intergrated learning activities incorporating, STEM, literacy, art, science, cooking and more

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  1. So many great ideas in this post Christie! I’m always collecting bottle top lids for school to write letters on, but I never thought of this many other uses!

  2. I use concentrated juice lids for several games: Put the lid through a narrow slit in the top of a plastic container; put stickers and words on them, turn them upside down and play a “fishing” game with a magnet on a string – depending on level it can be vocabulary development, matching, letter or number recognition, etc.; my Little Ducklings love pushing lids through the rubbery openings of baby wipes boxes. :-)

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