Eric Carle Number Cards

No big deal – just a 50 cent garage sale find.  I can’t reiterate enough that garage sales are THE PLACE to explore if you are in need of preschool age through at least first grade materials.  This box includes two sets of very sturdy, cardboard flashcards 1-10.  One set has a large numeral on one side and the corresponding amount of animals on the flip side.  The other set has the number written out with appropriate amount of dots to count on one side and the corresponding amount of animals on the flip side.  Here’s a link to the set on Amazon if you’re interested in some more pictures.

Eric Carle Number FlashcardsAlthough I am Abigail’s daily preschool teacher, we love to include Daddy in our school work whenever possible too!  He is so patient and sweet with her and I love watching them interact together. 🙂  We use these cards for practicing counting as well as number recognition.

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Pom-Pom Numbers

This activity came from 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 .  Right now I am focusing on cards 1-5 with Abby.  However, we practice using all of them and, of course, she enjoys putting pom-poms on every single circle.  I haven’t attached velcro to the pom-poms or cards as suggested, but I plan on getting that done soon.  Without it, they roll around too much and it can be difficult for tiny fingers to make them stay put.

You can print off your own set of number cards at the site listed above.  Then, you simply cut them out, laminate and attach velcro.  This uses the really tiny pom-poms, which you can typically find at dollar stores.

This is an excellent way for kids to develop their fine motor skills while gaining number recognition and learning to count!PomPom Numbers

Alphabet Stamps & Play Dough

This ridiculously awesome idea came from Jenae.  You combine the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Alphabet Stamp Set with a container of play dough and presto!  You have an awesome preschool activity that can be used in a million different ways!  Any alphabet stamps will work with this idea.  However, since I didn’t have any, I used my Amazon gift cards from  Swagbucks and went ahead and bought the Melissa & Doug one.  It’s a nice, wooden set that should last us forever.  Alphabet Stamps

For now, I help Abby flatten out a chunk of play dough.  Then I stamp one letter (either upper or lower case) on the play dough and she has to find and stamp the matching letter.  If that is too difficult for your child, you can simply have them stamp a letter of choice and talk about what letter it is with them.  I’m excited to use this with spelling activities as Abby gets older.  It’d be a great (and fun!) assessment to use.  You could stamp out words, leaving one letter blank and have your child stamp in the missing letter.  It’d be an excellent way to practice word families or writing their name.  So much fun to be had! 🙂  I had a related garage sale win earlier this summer when I found a set of plastic number stamps for fifty cents!  We currently use those for number recognition, but it will be great fun when we start addition/subtraction later on!Playdough Stamp Letters

Busy Bugs Learning Set by Discovery Toys

I LOVE THIS TOY!  It’s kind of ridiculously expensive on Amazon, but I (of course) found mine at a garage sale.  Don’t let the $2 marker on the box fool you either…. I definitely bargained and just paid a dollar. 😉  I’ve used this through multiple students and children and it is still one of blogmy favorites.  There are color sorting mats, addition mats, pattern mats, bug classification mats – it’s awesome.  If you don’t have this, start garage saling!  Just this summer, I saw the exact set at 2 garage sales.  I also bought a tub of planes, trains, boats, cars and buses for a dollar and they would work just as well for something like this.  The best part about this set is that you can create your own mats to work on whatever skills you want.  If you don’t have the bugs set, but have another similar manipulative, start making some mats that fit your child.  This is an excellent math resource!  I realize I sound like an advertisement, but this is just one of the best! 🙂