This quick and easy nature learning activity helps your child develop counting, number recognition and fine motor skills. The activity even comes with FREE printable number cards.
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Untying and Counting Learning Activity
- Printable Number Cards
- sticks collected from nature
Living in the mountains, we love to be outside exploring and getting close to nature. Like most kids, my son loves collecting a variety of goodies he finds outside like sticks, acorns and leaves. This activity is perfect for getting your young learners out and moving in nature, while still incorporating some early math skills.
Begin by taking a leisurely nature walk to collect the perfect sticks for your bundles. Although you will be collecting sticks for the activity, don’t place the focus on that. Really take the time with your kids to soak in the sights and sounds of nature and make observations along the way. Try to spot and identify that bird you’re hearing or pick some wildflowers. Revel in the outdoors.
Once you’ve all had your fill of nature, bring your collected sticks inside and start assembling your bundles, by tying together groups of sticks with ribbon. Depending on the level of your children, you can create stick bundles for numbers 1-5, 1-10, or even higher. If going higher, I would choose a random 10 numbers to include in the set. Realistically, it would take too many sticks to assemble consecutive bundles for larger numbers. Can you imagine assembling 20 stick bundles? Neither can I!
After your bundles are complete, mix them up in a large pile. Have your children pick 1 stick bundle at a time, untie the ribbon using the pincer grasp (building fine motor skills), and then count the number of sticks in the bundle.
Depending on the skill set of your children, this may be challenging enough. If your kids are ready for more, you can also incorporate number recognition, by having them match the corresponding number card to the stick bundle. When they are first learning number recognition, have them pick between only 2-3 number cards at a time. As their skills progress you can have them sorting through a larger number of cards.
If you have kids with advanced fine motor skills, you can have them choose a number card and then tie that many sticks into a bundle instead of untying. Happy learning!