To introduce the idea, I told Bug that we were going to be making a game. It was simple to make - all we needed was a few different types of seeds (we used mixed birdseed and lima beans), two strips of card stock and glue.
I pre-drew lines on the card stock giving her lines to follow with the scissors to create almost equal sized squares.
We then emptied out our bowl of seeds (that I had pre-counted) onto the table and discussed how there were different seeds. We sorted them into the different types and discovered there were four different types of seeds. The first group had two seeds, the second four seeds, the third had six seeds and the fourth had eight seeds (sneaking in counting by twos). We then distributed the small squares of card stock next to each group of seeds. This way we could tell we needed two cards for each group of seeds. This allowed us to discuss how eight is made up of four groups of two.
Take your first pile of seeds and the corresponding two cards. Ask the child to divide the seeds between the two cards so that there are a equal number on each card. Bug found it pretty easy when we had just two seeds but had to take care with eight seeds.
We then glued the seeds down on the cards and waited for the glue to dry.
Now it was time to play our memory game! We turned all the cards upside down, shuffled them around and put them into a grid. I asked Bug to turn two cards over at a time, and if they matched she could leave them up. If they did not match, she had to turn them back down and try again. Repeat until all pairs have been found.
Can you tell she was excited when they all matched up?!
With this activity, we made a fun game, but we also introduced dividing numbers into equal amounts. In particular with the seeds we discussed how you are halving a number (or dividing by two). For example, if you have eight seeds, then each of the two cards will have four seeds. You can check this by counting the total number of matching seeds on the two cards.
Of course little Bear wanted to participate too! She made her own "card" covered in seeds.
- 4 different kinds of seeds
- 2 lima beans
- 4 corn kernels
- 6 sunflower seeds
- 8 small seeds (from bird feeder seed)
- 2 strips of card stock: 1x4 inches
- Cut the strips of card stock to create 4 1x1-inch pieces.
- Sort your seeds into matching groups.
- Divide your card stock so you have two pieces at each pile of seeds.
- Take a pile of seeds and two pieces of card stock and divide the seeds on the two cards.
- Repeat for all seeds.
- Glue the seeds down.
- After the glue dries: use your cards to play a memory game.