We took an egg carton and turned it upside down. I had my niece use a marker on each egg cup draw green grass. While she was making grass I was making flowers. I grabbed some popsicle sticks and sticky backed Fun Foam Flowers. I placed a flower at the top of each stick. The where the leaves were to be I wrote numbers 1-12 on the sticks. When she was done with the grass, I then wrote numbers 1-12 on the top of each egg cup and cup a small slit the width of a popsicle stick.
|The bottom of the carton with green grass on sides and numbers and slit in egg cup|
|Our simple flowers- my niece liked the ones with glitter centers better|
|Our Number Garden turned Math Garden|
Now all she had to do was "plant" my flower garden, by matching the numbers on the sticks to the numbers on the egg cups. Once she had finished matching the flowers to the holes, we would count them and check to see if they were correct.
This worked great for my 4 year old niece, but the Math Garden began when my son came home from school. Now Garrett is in 3rd grade and was working on multiplication. My niece had randomly placed the flowers back into the egg carton when we were all done the last time. When Garrett got home, he saw this and asked what it was. I explained that it was my "Math Garden" and he had to Multiply the flower times the number on the egg cup and give me the answer. If it was correct he could "pick the flowers." This was a fun and quick way to randomly practice math facts in a couple of minutes.
Now that I have looked at it for a while- this could work for matching numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, & multiplication. And now my niece is leaving her numbers messed up when she is done so that Garrett has to practice when he comes home- it's like their own little game between them.