I’m constantly trying to think of ways to make learning fun, and I’m happy to say that this monster math activity was a huge success! My son had a ton of fun learning with this in multiple ways. He practiced drawing, cutting, and pasting as he used his imagination to come up with the perfect monster. He told stories about his monster as he created. And then he had a blast practicing his handwriting and math skills!
What You Need:
- printer paper or cardstock
- various craft supplies to create the monster
- lamination or sheet protector (sold in office supply for pages in binders)
- googly eyes
- dry erase marker
- tissue or paper towel (for erasing the dry erase marker)
Making the Monster:
My son wanted to use scissors and glue, so he used construction paper to assemble his monster. But your child could also use crayons, markers, or paint. The possibilities are great and letting your child choose will enhance the enjoyment. The important thing to keep in mind though, is that the finished product needs to be flat and contained on the piece of paper. You might also want to leave room at the top of the page to write the math problems.
Just slip the page into a sheet protector or laminate after the monster is finished. This allows you to easily write on the page over and over and practice many math facts.
Once your monster is laminated, the math fun can begin! Have your child roll the dice and write the numbers into the math problem at the top of the page. The dry erase marker made this part extra fun.
For addition– ask your child to count out the number of eyes for each die and place them on the monster. How many eyes are there all together? Complete the math fact by writing in the answer.
For subtraction– ask your child to find the biggest of the two numbers that were rolled and place that many eyes on the monster. Ask them to take away the smaller number of eyes from the monster. How many are left?
- Skip the handwriting. If you have a younger child, or a child that doesn’t like to write that would benefit from the math practice without the struggle, just skip this and use the die as the guide. Although this might be enough fun to change a hesitant child’s mind!
- Skip the dice. Rolling the dice is a lot of fun for kids, but there are a couple reasons why you might want to skip it. If you don’t have dice, or you need to practice addition facts above the number 12 (or subtracting numbers higher than 6), you can always just write the math facts you’d like them to practice on a separate piece of paper. They still have the fun of using the googly eyes as math manipulatives.
- Skip the googly eyes. Googly eyes are fun, but that dry erase marker is too! My son decided drawing the eyes (and erasing some for subtraction problems) was a lot of fun too, so he did a lot of drawing as well.
How will your family play?