A few weeks ago I was filling out a preschool application for Mary Virginia. The application asked lots of questions to help the teachers get to know her, including some of her social and academic skills.
One question asked which numbers she could recognize, and I wasn’t sure how to answer. Then I thought about it and didn’t know how to answer for David, either. David, my four and a half year old. David, the kid I’m considering sending to kindergarten next year. I know he can recognize lots of numbers, I’m just don’t know which numbers.
I’m not sure how I came up with this, all I know is that when I make eggs in the morning for my family, I make at least 10 eggs. Because of that, we buy giant cubes of eggs and have empty cartons all the time.
I took the lid of the cube (which has shallower cups) and wrote the numbers 1-30 — scrambled. Scrambled. Eggs. Ahahahhahahah, I didn’t even mean to do that.
David decorated the egg carton with red marker, and we were done. It took under five minutes.
I added a red bouncy ball, and encouraged him to use the ball to count as high as he could. My idea was that he could roll the ball, but the ridges were too deep, so he sort of bounced the ball from number to number.
The crazy part of this wasn’t just that it was easy, it was that it worked. David thought it was fun to bounce the ball around and find the numbers. He played with it for a while, and we talked about numbers and counting.
I think David liked it because it had just enough action to keep him interested, and he’s always, always been fascinated by balls.
This would also be easy to do with letters (there are 30 spaces on my egg carton) or maybe even shapes, or colors. In fact, it was so easy to make, the possibilities are endless — as long as my family’s egg consumption doesn’t slow down.