Fall is a great season for working on counting skills as there are so many gorgeous natural items like acorns and buck eyes to use in hands on math sessions. Don’t kids just love collecting and handling them? Today I’m sharing a super Fall counting activity that makes the most of the pretty fallen leaves and also develops fine motor skills too.
How To Set Up A Fine Motor Counting Activity For Fall
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I start with a fun walk with the children and give them a little basket or bag so that they can help me collect some leaves. I keep an eye out for some large leaves and a variety of colours if possible to add to the visual stimuli.
Once home I give the leaves a quick wash and dry and then mark out my numbers with a sharpie.
I put the leaves in one basket and the clothes pins in the other and introduce the activity to the children. Children can then peg a number of clothes pins onto the leaves to match the number written on it.
This is a wonderful seasonal activity to develop early math one to one correspondence and number recognition. Clipping and unclipping the clothes pins is great for strengthening little hands, developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination too.
Listed below are lots of ways to differentiate this activity for different abilities and ages and alternative fine motor resource suggestions you could use too so the activity can stay fresh and be revisited a number of times.
Counting Activity Differentiation
- For children without number recognition I would add a corresponding number of dots to the leaves as well as, or instead of, the written digit.
- For very young children and those new to this activity you could just start with three leaves and the numbers 1 to 3.
- For older or more able children you could extend the number range as far as your like and introduce a zero too.
- For very able children, along with an extended range of numbers I like to add a few leaves with the same number into the basket too. I then encourage children not only to clip on the correct number of pegs to each leaf, but to find and order leaves 1 to 10 etc too.
Fine Motor Variations
Clothes pins are super for developing fine motor skills but there are lots of other things that children could use to clip or place on the leaves instead. You can keep the math activity fresh easily by switching these items occasionally. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- mini pegs
- jumbo paper clips
- acorns, buck eyes, pebbles
- a cork board to go under the leaves and drawing pins or golf tees to push into them.
If you want long lasting leaves or to do this activity all year round why not laminate some leaves? I have some laminated leaves that are now more than 5 years old and the colours have faded a little but they’re still going strong.
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