Here’s another one of those activities perfect for a preschooler. I’m almost ashamed to admit the quantity of arts and craft supplies in this house. Our entire living room has been converted to the “kids’ office” where we have amassed more toys, books, games, and just stuff than we know what to do with! Despite the plethora of art supplies sometimes it’s hard to think of something fresh and new to do with them. Here’s a counting activity we did that makes use of the ink stamps sitting around. The setup:
We used several ink pads and lots of different stamps – note the number stamps. On a large sheet of paper I drew a grid then inked a different number of stamp patterns in each square (kids can help with this too!). I drew a box in each corner where the answer will be stamped. The objective is to count how many stamps are in each square on the paper then use the number stamps to place the correct number in the smaller box. Maybe it’s easier to just show you another picture:
Hmmm I didn’t realize that was so blurry, but I think you get the idea.

You can try other variations, for example stamp (or write) a number in the small square then your child can make that many stamps in the larger square. Or give your child a blank grid and they can create their own worksheet. Don’t be afraid to try some “big” numbers too. Make it a little challenging!

We’ve been working hard on accurate counting. Ramona can recite numbers beautifully but until recently hasn’t really grasped the concept of counting objects with a 1:1 correspondence. I’m not sure when a child is supposed to learn to count objects accurately. My unscientific Internet search yielded lots of different answers that essentially boil down to “every child is different” but it seems three years old is an appropriate age to at least introduce object-counting.

I could tell by observation that Ramona was ready to master this skill and she just needed more practice. We spend a lot of time counting crayons, fruit snacks, stuffed animals, you name it. Activities like this help reinforce the object-counting, and it’s a fun crafty sort of activity that passes the time and consumes the art supplies on a chilly spring day.    

So, this was all about counting accuracy and number recognition, but clearly there are lots of other variations you could try with stamps. A few more ideas:

Use stamps to create patterns. See if your child can see the pattern and repeat it, or fill in the missing stamps in a repeating pattern. Let your child create patterns of their own.

Using a small size stamp, draw different shapes for your child to identify.

Expand upon what we did above by stamping out simple addition or multiplication problems. If you have number stamps use those to write math sentences.

To really test the object-counting skill, make the same stamp in several different colors on one page and have your child count how many there are of each color.

So help me out here, what other ways can we use stamps to practice math skills? I’ve got a drawer full of stamps and ink, what else can I do with this stuff? π 

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