Welcome to a new segment on my blog. As a busy wife and mom, I've decided to share some stories from my crazy and wonderful home life. Crafting, recipes (that I don't ruin!), parenting and loving the one you are with will all be features of MrsKing@Home. I'll also be sharing activities that I've created for my kids to further their education and some that are just for fun! Eventually, you'll be able to see all of these posts by clicking on Mrs. King @ Home right under the page header.
My daughter, a bright and sassy 4 year old, lives in a world of princess, mermaids, rainbows and unicorns. With her rich imagination she is always playing pretend or performing for us in some dramatic fashion. Last week, I thought that we should spend a little time working on recognizing numbers. Unfortunately, she disagreed.
"Noooo!" she whined. "Princesses don't do math!"
I collected many of the caps myself, but I also enlisted parents to help me as well. It didn't take long before I had more than enough caps for all the projects I would ever need! I put them all in the sink with hot, sudsy water and sloshed them around. (Yes, "sloshed" is the technical term.) I laid them out on a towel to dry and they were ready to go.
Here's what they look like in action. These are cleaned bottle caps in a variety of colors. I had a few parents turn in lids from larger bottles and from milk jugs. I've got them stashed somewhere for another project, but for the number mats I really wanted to use just bottle caps. This Ferris wheel set is one of my daughter's favorites. It is second only to the the mermaid set.
Each of the sets contains mats for 1-10. I printed off the full color versions, but in the sets that I've posted in my store there are four versions. In addition to the full color version with the little circles to show placement of the bottle caps, there's one with an ink saving background. There are also versions without the circles in full color and with the ink saving version.
For the hammer and nail version I painted the tops of some gray bottle caps and added "ones and X's" as my daughter described them. When we worked with this set we used a little plastic hammer to smack them as we counted them.
Our favorite bottle caps were spray painted gold. They work great for the sandcastle set and would be awesome for the treasure chest and piggy bank versions I'm working on.
We painted the yellow bottle caps to look like corn cobs. These were a little trickier to do! We added the lines with a permanent marker and they look great with the cornstalk set.
For the beehive set we decorated a few of the yellow bottle caps to look like bees.
As you can see in the picture above, the bottle caps aren't always the same height. As long as the diameter is the same, they will match up with the circles on the number mats. The fish bowl set would be fun to use with those shiny aquarium rocks too.
We did use the bottle caps for the pizza set, but we had been using play dough earlier, so we made play dough toppings for our pizza mats too.
The bottle caps work regardless of which side they are placed on as scene on the starfish. Actually, I think they may look better upside down with this set.
The frog set was great fun! We decorated a few of the caps with little flies. We also used some of the plastic frogs and insect from the party store to count with this one. In addition to counting with these number mats, we used #5 for "Five Green and Speckled Frogs".
In addition to counting with the mats and arranging them from high to low and vice versa, we've started using them for simple addition problems. I'll lay out the mats for 1 and 5 and ask "How many all together?" and she can add them up and give me an answer.
You can download all of these mats (400 pages!) or individual sets here:
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