Preschool “math” activities are super easy to integrate into everyday life. My 3-year old daughter is always eager to point out numbers (and letters) on signs, boxes, school buses, buildings, t-shirts, you name it. She is also game to identify and create shapes, which is what prompted our recent lunchtime activity which allowed us to simultaneously practice a little geometry and play with our food.

I set out a bowl of dry cereal next to our lunch plates. In case you are curious it was Cracklin’ Oat Bran, a tasty choice if you can get past its strong resemblance to cat food. The C.O.B. became our tool for making shapes (and more, as you’ll see) as the two of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch while the ‘big kids’ were at school. 

I first wanted to see if she could complete a shape that I started. For example, I started the first two lines of this shape for her:
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And voilà! Here’s how she finished it:
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We tried again with this one:
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So far so good, so I continued along this theme of basic shapes. Here we go, complete this shape:
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At this point I walked away for a few minutes to do something (probably checking my email, I admit) and came back to find this masterpiece:
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I totally wasn’t expecting that!  Isn’t he cute? I absolutely loved the little alien and she was so proud of herself. The funny thing is, I have no idea if she didn’t know it was supposed to be a circle or if she just thought the circle was too boring and decided to get creative. What do you think?

By the way, my little girl loved this! We went on to create different shapes then letters, we spelled her name, and we counted pieces of cereal. She didn’t even realize I was shoveling mouthfuls of food into her mouth as we “played” so she really ate a good hearty lunch and nibbled a bit of dry cereal in the process (she would have eaten much more cereal if it had been sticky and brightly colored, believe me).

She even ate the rest of the C.O.B. for snack later that day. I personally am not keen on food that’s been handled that much, but as you know a 3-year-old couldn’t care less and honestly I think she enjoyed the cereal even more, knowing those were the same pieces we played with for an hour before she put it in her mouth. A little gross maybe, but the girl knows her shapes pretty well so I can’t complain. π

07/15/2012 01:17

First time here at your blog and wanted to say hi.

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10/18/2013 06:37

Great blog, enjoyed browsing through the site

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