It's full on Halloween fun this week at Happy Tot Shelf HQ and I just have to give everything a Halloween makeover. Like this clever idea of counting in 5s with hands from lnnally and Chalk Academy that I bookmarked few months back.
Before we can get to the counting part, we first need to make the hands, or rather the MONSTER hands.
I traced the hands of my children and cut them out. We made 12 green hands in all.
Why 12 Monster Hands?
Because 12 x 5 = 60!
Knowing the 5 times table up to 12 x 5 will be useful for moving on to clock reading.
That's also the bigger reason why we are doing this activity - my 5yo is taking interest in telling the time, but has difficulty in reading the minute hand. Knowing the 5 times table is crucial prerequisite knowledge to reading the clock successfully.
Related: Learn multiplication with this fun Sticky Notes Ice Cream Activity!
How to Craft Monster Hands
Now for the FUN part - making the monster hands!
Put out some stickers, colored paper, scissor and glue. Invite your child to make some scary looking monster hands. One mention of the scariest monster hands, and my children were on it right away. And they made sure to keep outdoing each other with the longest, sharpest nails.
My 3yo figured that the nails were too long and needed to be trimmed.
A Winning Activity for All Ages!
This monster hands activity is clearly a winner because anything that can keep both my 3yo and 5yo engaged is a winner. I understand how parents with multiple kids are always looking for activities that will involve everyone and trust me, you have to try this one. Both my 3yo and 5yo loved it so much that we spent an hour making our monster hands and talking about how scary their hands are.
And that's not all to this activity!
Using the Monster Hands to Learn Math
Later in the day, we used these monster hands to teach basic counting to my 3yo and the 5 times table to my 5yo.
Basic Counting for the Older Toddlers & Preschoolers
Here's how you can use this monster hands activity to teach counting. Start with asking questions like:
"Can you show me 1 with your hand?"
"Can the monster hand show me 1 too?"
For a harder counting challenge, choose a number larger than 5 that requires more than 1 hand. Help your child with early math by to developing a strong number sense.
Multiplication by 5 for the Kindergarteners
I presented my 5yo with the equation, starting from the easiest 1 x 5 and asked him how many monster hands we needed. We counted the fingers to get the answer.
Hands on, visual learning is the essential first step for young children to make sense of abstract mathematical math equations.
More Counting Activity Ideas
Love this Monster Hands Activity for craft and counting? I've got more for you!
For more ideas and variations on counting with hands, check out these posts by Chalk Academy and Lnnally. Need more Halloween ideas? Check out our Halloween mini shelf and this cute monster eyes counting activity.