Now that spring is here, I’ve been looking for crafts/activities that I can do with the children that are nature-related. We have a gazillion white paper plates in our craft store, and wanting to utilise them, I came up with this idea of a ‘learning to count’ ladybird, complete with spots for counters. What’s good about this is that your child can help paint the ladybird to start with (and an older one can help cut out the spots), so gets involved with the making of it, which in my opinion always seems to hold their interest more than something they haven’t helped with first.
Once the ladybird was complete, Freddie and Sasha sat on the floor and I would ask them (mainly Freddie, S is still a bit young really), to put X number of spots on one side of the ladybird, and then X number on the other side. He enjoyed doing this, and took pride in getting the number of spots right. Using the ladybird, we also began a gentle introduction to adding up i.e. i’d ask Freddie to put 2 spots on one side, and then 1 on the other- how many did he have now? This didn’t phase him and he got quite a few right, which seemed to give him confidence. Next time we might try a few more complicated ones, but for now it was fine just to play a bit, he’s still very tiny really. Sasha (22 months) was able to put up to 5 spots on the ladybird at any one time when asked, and, like F, took great pride in getting them right.
A lovely nature-themed number game to try, and easy to make too!
You will need:
- A white paper plate.
- Red paint.
- Paint brush.
- ‘Googly’ stick-on eyes.
- A ruler.
- Black felt tip or crayon.
- White crayon.
- Black card.
- A ruler.
- A small bowl, or circular object to draw round (for ladybird head).
- A small, circular object to draw around for the spots (I used a food colouring bottle!)
1. Get your little one to paint the bottom of the paper plate, red.
2. Leave this to dry.
3. Next, get a piece of black card, and draw around your small bowl with a white crayon.
4. Cut out your circle.
5. Then cut this circle in half.
6. Stick two ‘googly’ eyes on to the half circle, and this makes your ladybird’s head.
7. Sellotape your ladybird’s head onto one side of the now red paper plate, as per the photo below.
8. Draw a line down the centre of the plate from the ladybird’s head with your black pen/crayon.
9. Next, draw 10 little circles onto the remainder of the black card, using your white crayon.
10. Cut these out, and now you have your ladybird counting craft ready to go.
Our ladybird in action…