Two of my favorite items to use when making My Obstacle Course stations are colored index cards and stickers. Â I love how they make things colorful and bright while also allowing me to change up the theme easily with stickers.
Building Math Skills
Before setting up My Obstacle Courses, I always think about what skills Andrew needs to build and how I can incorporate them in a fun way. Â Early on, I was thinking of the math skills he needed and was trying to find out more about what he knew. Â At that point in time we were working with him on numbers (the actual number and what that number represents) and number order. Â I had used some regular playing cards found in a drawer and one day had the idea of creating my own “playing cards” using index cards and stickers. Â This would be a perfect way for me to combine concept and theme.
What you need:
- 10 4×6 index cards
- 3 sheets of stickers from 1 package of 120 stickers (Ideally they should match but can vary a bit like these snowflakes. Â I just try to not make them too busy with lots of details.)
This is really easy and quick to make. Â Take a card and place the same number of stickers on it as you want it to represent (ex. one sticker on the 1 card, two stickers on the 2 card, etc.). Â The photo below shows my completed sticker cards in order from 1-10. Â I do not put the numbers on the cards because I want to be able to see how he is counting.
My Obstacle Course Station Activity Ideas:
Put sticker cards in order:
Matching sticker cards with numbers:
- Choose some sticker cards and set out in a random order. Â Note: Â They do not have to be in order like the photo shows, you can choose whatever numbers you think will challenge your child appropriately. Â (Ex. Â Using 6 and 9 in the same set would let you know if they are confusing them because they look similar. Â Using two consecutive number cards would show you if they are counting properly (1:1 correspondence) or if they are miscounting by counting randomly, skipping over stickers or double counting them.)
- Make number cards that match up with the sticker cards you’ve chosen. Â The numbers shown below are made with same index cards cut in half.
- Set out the numbers for the child to match up with the sticker cards.
Make This Number:
- I choose a number and write it down.
- I then select sets of cards that when put together, they make that number.
- When putting the station together, I separate the cards so that one card from each set is put out underneath the number and I mix up the other cards. Â This activity is giving them the sum and one addend and they have to figure out what the other addend is!
How To Play:
- When he gets there he will look at the number to make Â (10 in this photo).
- He will count the number of stickers on the first card under the number.
- Then he will choose a second card from below that he thinks will help to make the given number.
- Heâ€™ll count the stickers on the two cards to see if they make the number. Â If he doesnâ€™t get it, heâ€™ll choose another one from below and see if it works. Â If he gets it, he moves on to the next set, continuing until all sets are matched up.
Note: Â When we first began doing this, Andrew went about this in a fairly random way but I have seen him grow and begin to strategize a bit. Â I can see him really thinking about the number he is starting with and choosing his next card based on what makes the most sense.
Storage and organization:
These cards are quick and easy to make yet provide many different ways to build math skills at many different levels. Â I have shown you just some of the ways I have used them in my home. Â I encourage you to think about the skills your child needs to build and see if there is a way to use these fun, colorful sticker cards to help!
Engage, Encourage and Empower!