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