Snacks are life. My kids probably could live on snacks alone, and they're always high interest for them. The idea of Snacktivities or Snack Activities is a fun way to bring learning and snack time together. My preschooler thought this activity was so fun that she asked to do it again and again, and with it only being a few minutes of prep and no mess, I was happy to oblige!
What you'll need for Punch Math - A Number Sense Game:
Sturdy straw or similar object
Muffin pan (This one is great)
Permanent marker (Aren't these dreamy?)
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission from your purchases.
Prep to Play Punch Math- A Number Sense Game:
Prep your punch math game by putting a few snacks in each cup of the muffin pan. Then wrap aluminum foil over the top and sides of the muffin pan. Over each circle, write a number that your child can identify or is working on identifying. I love this game because there are so many different ways to play.
Beginner version - Number Recognition and One to One Correspondence:
"Punch the number 3!" Call out the number they need to punch through.
You can give them the option to punch through the number that many times. "Punch through the 3, three times. "
Emerging skills version - More than, less than
Once your preschooler or kindergartner has a good grip on number identification and understands that quantities match the number, try this way of playing that builds number sense using more than and less than.
"Punch a number that is more than 5. Punch a number that is less than 2."
Another way to play this way is to show them on your hands a number of fingers and ask them to find a number that is more than or less than that many! That way they're "subitizing" the number of fingers, translating that into the number they identified, and then building their knowledge of more and less.
Advanced version - Addition and Subtraction
"Punch the number that is 5 +1!" "Punch the number that is 4-2!" Call out beginning addition and subtraction problems and have them punch the number that is the sum or difference.
To scaffold and make this a little less tricky, use your fingers to show addition and subtraction. Hold up 8 fingers, "Punch the number that is this many take away 3!"
Which version will you play?