Teaching preschool has been one of the greatest joys in my life over the past 15 years. Young children are so much fun to be around for so many reasons, and being apart of their growth, learning and development is so rewarding. One of my favorite things about teaching is creating curriculum and activities for kids to play, learn, and explore.
As I was scrolling through Pinterest looking for ideas and inspiration, I came across a valentine's counting activity using Popsicle sticks and clip art bugs. My first thought was that's a good idea. Then I thought, I can make that cuter :)
So I opened Microsoft Word and started making hearts in pretty colors and chose a bold font to highlight the number.
The point of this activity is to encourage young children to first identify the different numbers, then count out that many objects and line them up on the Popsicle stick. This activity helps kids with so many different academic skills: number recognition, counting one-to-one correspondence, quantifying, hand eye coordination, and spatial awareness. My niece got to test out this activity first. She helped me discover that the activity lent itself to another learning element I hadn't originally thought of, color sorting. By sorting the different colors of heart erasers the activity tested her knowledge of different colors.
Can you guess her favorite color? Pink of course! CBear is almost 4 years old and she is working on learning her numbers, and learning how to count in sequence is a great skill for her to practice. I like to let kids explore a new activity for a bit before I jump in with questions. That way I can observe them and see how much they know without having to bomb-bared them with "what's this?" or "how many?" From working with kids I have learned they can get annoyed with too many questions from adults, and you can really learn a lot just by watching them.
CBear loved looking at all the different colored hearts and feeling the squishy erasers. While she was playing I thought this would also be a great activity to make together with your child. Click on any image and you will be taken to our Crafts & DIY page and you will find the PDF to download the hearts, I printed them on card stock to make them a little more sturdy. Then I just put a little glue on the Popsicle stick and pressed the cut out heart to it. I bet your child would love to help you make these, and then they can take more ownership of this special new activity.
I got the heart erasers at Target (another one of my favorites) in their $1-3 section at the front of the store. This newer section of Target has so many great buys to spruce up your office, kitchen, or classroom with adorable seasonal items.
In true little sister fashion, JBean had to try out what big sister was doing! This sweet ray of sunshine liked holding up the popsicle sticks and showing everyone at the table what she had discovered!
When she showed us a number we would tell her, "JBear , you found a six!" She would turn it around and look at it like, "Silly you, it's a heart!"