Math does not have to mean pages of workbooks and arithmetic time drills. Math is everywhere around us in our day to day lives, and it can be monsterously fun. Monster Math Squad on Kids' CBC demonstrates this by showing kids where math concepts are hiding in plain site, and ways that math can be used to help solve problems. With this tissue box monster craft and these activities, you can make math monsterously fun for your kids too.
Meet Counter Creacher, our very own Monster Math Squad member:
To make your own number cruncher, you will need:
- an empty tissue box
- paint and a paintbrush
You will also want to have a variety of miscellaneous craft objects such as pipecleaners, egg cartons, googlie eyes, toilet paper rolls, felt, construction paper, and fun foam on hand to create your own unique monster.
1. Remove the plastic from the opening of your tissue paper box. If necessary, trim rough edges around the opening:
2. If desired, paint the inside of the box, or decorate the outside. While you are waiting for the paint to dry, cut monster teeth out of felt, fun foam, or even paper:
3. Create the monster's eyes. Cut an egg carton into pieces. Paint in the colour of your choice, and glue googlie eyes on top:
4. Wind pipecleaners around a pencil to make them curly. Leave a small amount unwound on either end of the pipecleaner:
5. Pierce one end of each pipecleaner into the bottom of each egg carton eye. Pierce the other end of the pipecleaners into the top of the box. Fold over the end of each pipecleaner to hold it in place. Glue teeth to the inside of the monster's mouth:
6. Create the monster's legs. First, cut a toilet paper tube in half, and paint:
While you are waiting for the paint to dry, cut feet out of fun foam or heavy paper:
7. Glue feet to the tubes, and glue tubes to the bottom of the box. Now your monster is ready to play!
There are so many different ways that you can use your math monster to have fun learning math with your kids:
- Number recognition: Fill the monster's mouth with foam numbers. Have her reach in, pull out a number, and identify it by name.
- Number sequencing: Fill the monster's mouth with foam numbers. Have him pull out all of the numbers and try to place them in order. Count them together, and then encourage him to feed them back to the monster in reverse order.
- Number recognition: Decide on a fun activity such as clapping or jumping up and down. Have your preschooler reach into the monster's mouth and pull out a number. Have her do the action that number of times. On the next round, reach into the monster's mouth yourself and do the action.
- One to one correspondence: Have your preschooler reach into the monster's mouth, and pull out a number. Have her drop a correspondeing number of counting objects (pennies, dried beans, toys around the room) into a separate container. For example, if he pulls out a number four, he can drop four pennies into a nearby jar. For variation, put the numbers in a bag. Have your toddler reach in and pull out a number, and then feed the monster the corresponding number of counters.
- Number Sequencing: Have your child pull out a number from monster's mouth. Have her identify which number comes next in the sequence. For example, if he pulls out a number 4, the next number in the sequence would be 5. Challenge your preschooler to identify the number that comes before it.
- Number recognition: Have your kindergarten student pull out two numbers at once and identify the number. Once she has mastered two digit numbers, try identifying three digit numbers.
- Skip Counting: Have your kindergarden student pull out a number. See if she can guess what number comes two places next. If she pulls three, for example, the next number would be five.
- Basic addition and substraction: Have your child pull out two numbers from the monster, and add them together. If desired, have her work with counting objects at the beginning to make the process easier. See if he is able to do the same thing with subtraction, and consider adding a fun activity such as stomping your feet that number of times.
Grade One and Beyond:
- You can keep using the same sorts of activities with your school aged child, simply increasing the difficulty of the activities. Can your child identify a four digit number? How about adding and substracting double digit numbers, or even trying basic multiplication and division.
We would love to hear what you name your number monster, and how you use him too! With your Counter Creature, you can take a bite out math fears.