We are going to try to make the maths a bit more exciting, you can of course continue to play counting games and singing number songs. But there are also some exciting bubble activities to enjoy below.
First, Bubble Mixture
You can buy bubble mixture really cheaply these days.
You can of course buy bubble mixture or also make your own. I use:
1 part washing up liquid
4 parts water
(Optional) Some glycerine
The glycerine is very much an optional extra, but it does apparently help the
bubbles to get a lot bigger. To be honest, though, I never really use it.
To make the perfect bubble mixture here are some pointers:
1. Make sure everything you use to make it is clean – i.e. the bowls, spoons
and everything else. Any dirt will effect the quality of the bubbles
2. Use a washing up liquid that doesn’t smell too fruity, to discourage any
children that may want to drink it. Some washing up liquids smell delicious,
and this is best avoided.
Right, now on with the activities…
1. Blowing Bubbles In A Bowl
Counting something that moves is quite a different skill to counting something
that stays still. Also, some objects are permanent and some only temporary –
they last for a few seconds, then poof they are gone.
Bubbles are great for both of these concepts. They move about and they only
have a short lifespan.
For this first activity you need some bubble mixture (either bought or homemade),
small bowls and straws. This can also be done in a larger format in a
water tray or big trough (and forget the bowls).
The idea is that the children have a small amount of bubble mixture in a bowl,
and one straw. They blow into the bubble mixture. This makes multiple
bubbles mushroom up out of the bowl.
The idea is that you then pop one bubble at a time and count as they burst.
This is great for 1:1 counting, and cementing in your head that you point as
you say one number.
Simply go ‘1,2,3…’ and keep popping and counting. An excellent strategy for
Nursery children. However, pretty much all
children and even adults will enjoy and benefit from this fun counting activity.
2. Wait For The Pop
This is similar to the last game, but you don’t pop with your fingers. You
blow the bubbles, and then wait for them to pop by themselves, which they do
relatively frequently. Count the bubbles as they magically pop themselves.
Great for a bit of patience, as well as a fun counting game.
3. Fine Motor Pop
In this game, once again blow some bubbles so they mushroom up out of the
bowl. Then use something small to pop the bubbles. Some good things to use
1. A cocktail stick
2. A lolly stick
3. A matchstick
4. A pencil
Basically use something small that encourages a pincer grip, or holding the
item between thumb and finger. Excellent for fine motor as well as counting
at the same time.
Simply go round popping the bubbles whilst counting as you do it.
This is one of the most ultimate activities ever!
All you need for this are some recycled plastic bottles, and some old socks that
you don’t need any more. Green socks would be perfect, but are not essential.
What you do is cut the bottom off the bottle (adults please be careful). Then you
put the sock over the bottle, so that the open end of the bottle is still visible (the part you drink from).
Then dip the end of the bottle with the sock stretched on it into some bubble mixture.
Then blow through the drinking end!
Loads of frothy bubbles shoot out of the sock in a kind of foam! The idea is
that it is a dragon breathing terrible smoke!
You can really jazz this up by trying some of the following:
1. Use green socks so it really looks like a dragon
2. Stick googly eyes on your dragon
3. It could be a monster or other character
4. Put some paint on the bottom of the sock where the bubbles come out.
Then the bubbles are colored!
5. To make ‘fire’ come out of the dragon’s mouth, put yellow and red paint.
This makes multicolored fire.
What’s this got to do with number?
It’s that you can incorporate measuring length into this activity.
Blow the foam snakes onto the ground and keep on blowing. You can make
incredibly long columns of froth.
Then get some kind of measuring stick or string that has sections on it. Place
it alongside and count the sections.
You could then do some of the following:
i) Record how long each one is in some way
ii) Find out which is longest
iii) Find out how much longer one foam snake is than another
iv) Or simple talk about which is the longest, shortest, bubbliest!
As well as number, this snake-blowing is a kind of beautiful yoga-like
experience. It’s great for deep-breathing, even though children have no idea
that they are doing this.
Have fun and keep counting.