THE BEST WAY CHILDREN LEARN
I always love to create activities that are hands on because that’s just how children learn best! The children use paper clips as petals or leaves for their flowers and this adds such a fun context to this cute counting activity. As the children push each paper clip, they get to do one to one correspondence counting and work their little fingers at the same time.
Related: What’s one to one correspondence counting? Read more in this post and learn how to encourage this higher order counting in kids.
How to adapt this activity for children of different ages
We have done this activity a couple of times with both my 3yo and 5yo. Here are some ways I changed the activity to cater to the learning needs and fine motor skills of my children:
1) Paper Clip Flower Petal Counting
This is great for preschoolers who have good fine motor skills and are learning to count. To set up this activity, attach a cardboard circle to a popsicle stick. Write numbers 1 to 10 around the cardboard circle. Set out 10 paper clips and invite your child to push a paper clip onto the cardboard circle at each number, starting at 1.
2) Paper Clip Leaves Counting
Push the paper clips into the popsicle sticks as leaves for the flowers. This variation is a good for young preschoolers who find pushing paper clips onto the cardboard circle challenging. My 3yo finds it easier to push paper clips into popsicle sticks.
To set up this activity, attach a flower cutout to a popsicle stick. I made mine using a scallop flower punch. Write numbers 1 to 5 on each flower. Invite your child to push paper clips onto the popsicle stick as leaves according to the numbers on the flowers.
Related: Monster Eyes Counting is another cute and hands on activity to practice counting.
3) Paper Clip Flower Petal Addition/ Subtraction
This variation is great for the kindergarteners. Challenge them to solve some simple addition/subtraction problems and push in the corresponding number of paper clips based on the answers. To set up this activity, attach some cardboard circles to popsicle sticks. Write the simple addition/subtraction problems on the cardboard circles. Invite your child to solve the math problems and push paper clips onto the cardboard circle based on the answers.
Tip: No paper clips at home? Wooden clothespin is a good alternative.
Looking for more flower theme learning activities? Our garden learning shelf is full of hands on garden theme activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
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