When I was a preschool teacher, my classroom had several literacy and math centers that the kids used on a daily basis. Many of the centers were changed weekly, while others were around for months at a time.
One of the centers that was always a big hit with the kids, was a simple paper cup matching activity. I would adapt the activity often, switching between shapes, colors, numbers, and letters of the alphabet. The kids loved to use it independently, as well as with a partner for a little friendly competition.
This week, I recreated the activity for my 4 year old son, Zahir. He absolutely loved it, and although it was more for review purposes than anything, it was a great way to boost his confidence while reinforcing number recognition and matching skills.
What we used:
I started by taping a large sheet of white paper to the table. Next, I used a marker to trace a paper cup, creating circles all over the paper.
I wrote a number on each circle, and a coordinating number on each paper cup.
Then, I set the cups on the table next to the paper, and Zahir was ready to get started!
I really didn’t need to prompt him at all. Once he saw that the numbers on the cups matched the numbers on the paper, he instinctively began placing them on the correct circles.
As he worked, he talked about the numbers, mentioning things he noticed, such as the fact that a 6 turned upside down looks like a 9, and that a 3 turned the other way looks similar to the letter E.
Listening to his observations was so much fun!
Zahir finished matching the numbers rather quickly, so we took all the cups off and began again. He did this activity several more times before moving on to something else.
Be sure to check out our Math Activities Pinterest board to find additional inspiration for in the classroom and at home.