Do You Have Wrapping Paper Tubes? Paper Towels Tubes? Toilet Paper Tubes? Then Let’s Do Some Math! Shortest and Tallest, Shortest and Longest, and Everything in Between

heightwithpaperrolls

With gift wrapping done at our house and having a family of five, we have no problem collecting paper towel tubes, wrapping paper tubes, and toilet paper tubes.  I thought this was best time to find out what they know and remember about comparing items in terms of shortest, tallest, and any height in between.  At this time, my sons are 4 and 3 years of age and my daughter is six months old.  This learning activity was done with two boys and a baby, took 15 minutes or so, and it was before bedtime.  So if this was a success with us, then just about anyone can do this at any time of day! 🙂

While my second oldest was playing, I asked my oldest which tube was the tallest out of the collection of tubes in front of him.  Then I asked him what was the second tallest. Then I switched it up and put the wrong tube after the other two and asked if this was correct.  With my oldest, this took about 1-2 minutes to complete the whole thing, resulting in what you see on the photo above.

To compare length, I asked much of the same questions about length, instead of height and he placed the tubes as you see them on the photo below.  He was done and wanted to work on the mega blocks.  This was perfect timing to get my second oldest to try this out.  Doing much of the same thing with my second oldest, he too had no problem with placing the tubes from tallest to smallest or lay them out as longest to shortest, and vice versa.  My second was having fun with this.  He wanted more!  Hmmm….Let’s tape them together to see how tall you are in cardboard tubes.

wrappingpaperrollsandlength

With a little painter’s tape, cardboard tubes, and my little helper, we were able to stack the tubes on top of each other to see how tall he is.  It was fun for him because he chose which tubes to use and how many of them we needed to add or take away from his creation.  He stepped back and was able to actually see how tall he really is.  A really big smile was on his face and he was happy with that.

The oldest watched what was going on and wanted to do that as well.  So he and I worked much the same way with him choosing the tubes.  We went a step further and included the mega blocks that he was playing with earlier.  Next to the tower of tubes, he stacked the mega blocks as high as his height.  He thought this was very awesome.  He then wanted to know how tall his little sister would be in mega blocks.  I placed her on the floor and spoke with her as he grabbed some mega blocks and made his creation.  It was a learning experience for both of us because once he thought he was done, she would move and I would gently stretch her out to see if the block creation was long enough.  Let me just say that there was a lot of adjusting 🙂 My second oldest came into the picture and thought this was funny and joined in on the fun.  🙂  What you see below is the height of all three kids, whether with cardboard tubes, mega blocks, or both.

An important note is that I did not make my second oldest work with the mega blocks.  This was to be a fun learning experience, especially understanding this was before bedtime. 🙂

heightwithpaperrollsandmegablocks

 

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

Answer:

  1. Wednesday on Big and Small

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

Answer:

  1. Tuesdays for Measurement

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

Something to Think About:

This is perfect if you want a learning activity for your one child, or children of multiple ages.  An extension of this would be to take rulers, or tailor tape, and see how tall your child is or children are in inches, centimeters, feet, yards, etc.  You can use wooden blocks if you don’t have mega blocks, or you can even use Legos.  You can even use plastic cups, or paper cups to stack them up to see how tall your child is.  The idea is to give them as many opportunities to show height and length and also using the vocabulary.  Most importantly, remember to have fun.

Again, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math, literacy, and art should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.   I will say this over and over again because it is that important to know that you are doing a great job!

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

Stop and Notice How the Day is Changing

Sunfortimeofdaywebsite

What is day? What is morning? What is afternoon? What is evening? What is night? What is dawn?  There is a cycle that is being repeated by nature every time the sun comes up and goes down and the moon joins in at night.  Your baby, or itty bitty one can listen to you as you describe the day or night.  It is about being deliberate about what we already know about the parts of the day and to say it out loud so that our child can listen and observe.  Just like we sometimes point out that this is a yellow banana and the grass is green, and the sky is blue, so do we need to point out change in the day to our child.

Once your child is old enough to notice the clock or begin to talk, start talking about what time it is during the day.  When you are waiting to go out of the house to run an errand, or go visit someone, let your child know what time it is that all of you or both of you will be leaving?  Either write down the time and have it next to the digital clock, or have their toy clock set to the time of departure and have it near the analog clock.  Start talking about what time it is when it is breakfast time, lunch time, nap time, getting ready for bedtime, and time to go to sleep.  This routine you have set for them is associated with the time of day.  Beginning to point out what time opens the child’s world to taking note to time.

This piece of time is not about learning how to tell time by reading a clock, but the beginnings of doing so.  To learn about something, it is better to have a purpose or meaning connected to it.  By beginning the phases of time for day, you are establishing meaning.  The child will begin to notice that the sun is rising or setting.  The child can see that the moon is there in the sky at night.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:

  1. Saturday and Sunday for Go outside and Explore it).

This is a bit of a stretch, but to really understand what is day, what is night, what is morning, and so forth, the baby needs to see it outside.

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 

Answer:

  1. Tuesday for Numbers
  2. Saturday and Sunday for Go Outside and Explore It.  The child must know what day, night, morning, afternoon, evening, and night look like.  Go out and see the sunset or the stars!

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

  1. Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement
  2. Fridays for Numbers (specifically counting and sequence)
  3. Every day for Play Time.  Go see the stars and the moon, the sun and the sunsets!

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

Something to Think About:

For this activity, it really is simple to do that does not take any toy or APP to teach.  It really does not take the necessity of buying something extra to teach as well.  It simply takes mindfulness in pointing things out to our child that we may normally take for granted.  When it is time to eat, say what time it is every time.  When it is time to take a nap, what time is it?  When your child wakes up, what time is it and do we say “good morning”?  What time is it to go to bed?  All of these things we normally do not say out loud because we take for granted of what we already know.

With so much going on in our lives and during the day, it is easy to let the day pass without knowing where the time went.  For you and your child, this is a time to stop and be mindful of the time of the day and time you have with each other.  Sometimes taking a moment to pause and notice the change of position of the sun in the sky or the different phases of the moon can really teach your child to be in the moment and paying attention to details.  I truly have been taken things for granted about paying attention to change and to details because things sometimes feel like a blur or rushed during the day.  It is refreshing to point these things out to my kids an just pay attention to the little moments, the subtle changes of the day, and the time it takes for the moon and stars to change the look or position in the sky.  This is a way to become more mindful of things and learn math.

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

What Does 30 Seconds Feel Like?

timephotoofclock

As my first child was getting to understand when Mommy was stepping away (really to go use the bathroom) and did not know where I was going, he would start to cry.  For some reason or another, I started talking to him and telling him where I was going and to give me 30 seconds.  I would then start counting, mainly for him to still hear my voice.  Did this help him quiet down from the start? ….No, but overtime, I would continue doing this until he was comfortable with the fact that mommy was coming back.  Surprisingly, my phrase of “give me 30 seconds” is still something I use now that my oldest is 4, my second is 3, and my third is 3 months old.

Today, I began thinking that this gave my kids a sense of what seconds felt like.  To offer a perspective, 30 seconds to adults seems to go by fairly quickly.  However, to a small child/toddler, this could take forever.  Our sense of time progresses as we have more of a sense of what it really feels like.

As two little ones grew up from infants to toddlers to preschoolers, there now is a sense of what 1 minute actually feels like.  As my children were able to count to 30 and now to maybe 60 without help, they can understand what 60 seconds feels like by counting to that number.  Then have it explained that counting to 60 is 1 minute.  As they will get older and able to count further, they will get a sense of what 5 minutes, or longer feels like.

If you have itty-bitty ones, 5 or 10 seconds seems to be a bit much, but it is a start.  Have your itty-bitty sit there with you as you both whisper-count to 5 or 10.  This might even be more therapeutic for you since sometimes we do not get even five seconds of quiet time during the day. J Then try extending this to 15 to 20 seconds and then progress to 30 seconds.  Doing this with my four-year old is a treat since he is just a bundle of movement and sometimes doesn’t keep still in the afternoon.  It is nice to tell him to sit on my lap and I hug him whisper counting for 10 seconds or 15 to 20 seconds.  It really gives me a chance to show each of my children some overdue attention for the day.  🙂

The same goes for counting to 60, or even closing eyes for 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then up to 5 minutes.  I am actually not there yet, but for those of us who have older children this could be a way for them to take a moment of some quiet time for themselves.

In a nutshell, practicing with your child of what time feels like, will help them develop an idea of time.  We see time pass by with clocks and we know what time it is by looking at our phones, or watch.  We even know that time has passed by looking at how the day has changed outside.  These are good things to point out to your young child.  Along with that, it is also essential to have a sense of it by feeling it as well.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:

  1. Wednesday for Counting

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/Schedule%20for%20the%20Week_zerotoeighteenmonths.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years? 

Answer:

  1. Tuesday for Numbers

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/ScheduleofActivitiesfor18mosto3yrsofage_0.pdf

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?

  1. Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement
  2. Fridays for Numbers (specifically counting)

http://www.learningmathwithmom.com/sites/default/files/CALENDAR3yearsto5yearsofagePDF_0.pdf

Something To Think About:

This is one of those math lessons, if you will, that really gets you and your child to just sit there and give a hug for 1 minute, a hug for 30 seconds, and frankly mommy and child time that is actually kind of quiet (with a few extra giggles).  Before I began typing this out, I really had to reflect on other times that I used time as a form of counting down, or waiting for something to happen.  I have been known to tell my kids that they have five more minutes until lights out for bed time.  At other times, they are told to hold on for a minute or wait a minute as I am able to finish the dishes or put the washed clothes in the dryer.  The afterthought is really about sensing time as it is and not always as a countdown, or anticipation of something else.  As a second thought to share, I am not trying to make time with your children, or even my time with my children a timed activity.  For this math lesson, it is about taking a pause to be in the moment with your child as this will also remind me to take those moments when I can. 🙂

copyright 2013 learning math with mom

copyright 2013 learning math with mom