So, whenever possible, I try to recycle. Or, better yet, reuse.
We go through a lot of milk. A. LOT. My youngest came home from China drinking nothing but milk. LOVES milk. And with six people living here, we constantly buy milk.
I either recycle (on the good months that the local recycling center will take most plastics) or throw away 3-4 milk jug caps a week. Ever stop to look at a milk cap? They're actually sorta cool in a "I'm just a lowly milk cap" sorta way.
I decided to make use of 'em.
MILK CAP MATH!!!
I've come up with several games and activities. Here's the first few simple ones, designed for preschoolers.
- Gather milk caps. Alternately, other caps would work great: juices, water, soda, etc. If they have writing on them, sometimes you can get that off with a little sandpaper. If not, stick to blank ones.
- Have a variety of colors? Figure out a pattern. (Or, better yet, have the kids figure one out.) The pattern can be part of the math activities.
- Lay out the caps in the pattern and number them. I first made one set of 1-12. I'm working on two sets for game playing. I put a line under 6 and 9 so as to distinguish between the two.
PreK-Grade 1 Activities:
- Put the caps in numerical order.
- Do you see a pattern to the colors?
- Sort the caps by color.
- Which color has the least caps?
- Which color has the most?
- How many more yellow are there than green? (various color combination questions)
- Using tile or another manipulative, have the child place the correct number of tile below each number. If available, use the same color tile as cap.
- What do you notice about the lines of tile?
As soon as I save up a few more milk caps, I'll post another game for bigger kids. In the meantime, save caps. :)
P.S. I did NOT see this idea on any other blog. I thought I had an original idea. (A rare and exciting phenomena.) However, I thought I'd better do a search before I posted. Good thing. I discovered "nothing is new under the sun." Google search gave 120,000 results. Here are some ideas from folks who thought of this before I did:
Milk Cap Numbers and Animal Counting Worksheets--cool templates!
Milk Cap Letters--templates for words/letters
Bottle Caps Math Game--for middle schoolers
This would be a great Work Box activity!
Link up your math ideas at Joyful Learner! ;)