Use Fall Leaves in Math Ten Frames and Proprioception, too!
This time of year, we are on leaf overload. Just playing in the yard, we have piles and piles of leaves in of all the Fall colors. I love getting outside with my kids and playing in the piles of leaves each year. It is such a sensory and just plain old fun way to experience the season of Fall.
We used some of those colorful leaves in a fun Math Ten Frame activity that combined fine motor strengthening for a powerful fine motor punch.
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First step: Go out and gather those leaves! Nature hunts rock, and the crunchy, cool weather of Fall makes memories. Gather pretty leaves along your way and bring them on home. Note: You will want leaves that are not crunchy. Freshly fallen leaves or leaves still on the tree will work best for this activity.
Next: Grab a Black Marker and draw a ten frame on the leaf. You'll need a Hole Punch for the math, and a die.
Using Ten Frames with Older Kids
Roll the die and have your kiddo count the dots. They can then use the Hole Punch to mark off the correct number of dots on the ten frame. Knowing the number of dots on the dice by just glancing is a skill of subtizing and will help kids as they get older with math. Subtizing helps a child advance to more advanced addition and subtraction.
Older kids can benefit from this activity, too. I still use ten frames with my second grader. They are a powerful way to introduce groups and multiplication concepts. Usually, I have my second grader roll the die twice or tree times and add the total before filling in the ten frame. Ten frames also are a way to hone base ten concepts. How can you get a number to a base ten by "borrowing" from another number. A math strategy like this is a good way to work on regrouping in addition.
You can grade this activity for older kids by using two dice. Have them add the dots of both dice and punch holes from two leaves. Practice adding both numbers together. Ask them how to combine the numbers from both dice to form a full ten frame. Ask them to figure out how many holes are left over from the total.
Using a Hole Punch for Fine Motor and Proprioceptive Input
Using a Hole Punch provides huge proprioceptive input to little hands, which is such a good way to "wake up" hands before a writing activity. Combine math, handwriting, and literacy by counting out numbers on the leaves, writing numbers on paper, and creating sentences based on the numbers. You can also tally number of the different colored leaves and write down the results on paper.
You might have seen a recent post about gross grasp and why kids need to work on this area for development. A hole punch is a fabulous way to work on gross grasp and other fine motor strengthening, like thumb stability and motion needed for scissor use. Read about that here.
Use this activity all Fall long for math, proprioception, and fine motor strengthening! And enjoy those crunchy Fall colors before they are gone!
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