I DIYed something all on my own and am quite proud of the end result. So of course I’m going to share it with the rest of you. You couldn’t have possibly thought I would spare you?! Whether you’ll like it or not is a whole different issue and I’m not going there. But I do think this is great for preschoolers and kindergarteners who are starting with basic math or those like mine who seem to enjoy math (for now at least).
I’m no early learning expert but from what I’ve seen my child learn and being taught, I’ve tried to combine basic concepts to teach addition, subtraction etc. and put it all together to come up with this which will keep the kids occupied while they also enjoy and learn math, something I had an extreme dislike for growing up. Now that’s a story for another day, but for today, let’s jump right into learning how to make what I made.
You will need:
- A medium sized, wide cardboard box
- A few sheets of black chart or colored papers or newspaper
- White chart paper/thick card paper
- Glue & tape
- A measuring scale
- Counters (anything in large numbers will work – dry pasta, lego/blocks, wooden blocks, ice cream sticks, coins, etc.)
You start by covering the cardboard box you’re using in colored paper/black chart paper or newspaper. We used black chart paper and some newspaper. This is purely for the aesthetics and is optional.
Now you proceed to make the card holders. Because the room was messy and I didn’t have the patience to set up things to make a video of it, I’ll instead link a video showing you exactly what I did. This is one of the few origami things I remember from my childhood.
You will need 5 of these. I made 2 using 6*6 inch papers, another 2 using 4*4 inch paper and the last 1 using a 7*7 inch paper.
You now need to cut out numbers in thick card paper/chart paper. I made 3*3cm squares and cut six each of the numbers 0-9 and 2 each of the symbols needed i.e addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, equal to, etc.
I made plenty extra because I know we’ll lose one too many without even leaving the boundaries of our house.
Next, draw a number line on a paper until 50-60 or more (as per your child’s current level) and cut it out.
Now proceed to make two or more containers for the number cards, counters etc. I’ve again made these with paper because I remembered how to. Again, I’ve linked a video if you need it. You can of course choose to use smaller (cardboard) boxes that will fit into the bigger box if you have them.
Finally, put everything together using glue and let it completely dry before you let the children play with it (you don’t need me to tell you that!). Since a visual guide will be more helpful here, do check the video below to see how it all came together and how to put this to use.
Although this took a while to be put together (about 3 hours with breaks), especially because of all the cutting and sticking and coloring we did (I didn’t ask for help but was provided with way too much and I had to oblige), this has so far proved be worth the effort (and clean up thereafter).
You can of course customize this to add more features/activities. I’m neither that talented nor creative, so I kept it basic and more in line with what we know and are learningand find interesting at the moment.
I really hope you try and make this or something similar with/for your kid(s). If you do, please do let me know how you liked it and tag me in your creations (but please just conveniently forget to tag me if yours ends up looking much better than mine, okay? Loljk please still tag me, I’d love to see more happy kids).