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Egg Carton Math

egg carton math

I knew it would happen, so I should’ve been better prepared.  Louise is riding Lulu’s coattails this year.  The kindergarten curriculum, we have down.  It’s the three-almost-four-year-old-who-thinks-she’s-already-five that I’m not ready for yet.  We have always, always, always done everything together, and so we keep right on going.  I try to give them each my undivided attention in 5-15 minute intervals, alternatingly, while we work on phonics, handwriting, and a little bit of math.  The phonics and handwriting are easy–I’ve covered the phonics part before with Lulu (‘though I’m realizing it will look different each time, with each child), and Louise really doesn’t possess to motor skills to print properly yet, so we can get by with a little preschool workbook (Get Set for School).  However, the math always sets me scrambling. 

Like all good homeschooling mothers 😉 , I am saving everything I think might come in handy in the near future, empty egg cartons included.  I was struck with inspiration the other day and pulled out one of these ultra-useful items.  I numbered the inside of the egg wells (cups?  you know what I mean) left-to-right, putting number seven below the number one.  I then grabbed my handy jar o’ buttons and had Louise pick some yellow buttons out of a pile I scooped out for her.  I instructed her to put one button in each well, starting with one and finishing at twelve.  I did something similar to this with Lulu when she was younger, and I remember originally getting the egg carton idea from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready.  By my adding just a little to the original activity, Louise worked on sorting, left-to-right orientation (important for a leftie like Louise, especially), and ordering.  However, I’m sure that there is a lot more that can be done with the lowly egg carton that I’m missing.  I’ve pondered this before, but I’ll pose the question anyway:  what else educational or entertaining can be done with an empty egg carton?


6 Responses

  1. My daughters could make lists of things to do with egg cartons! They whisk them away so fast, I never get a chance to think of something myself… Most recently they’ve been handy stackable stables for the innumerable tiny clay animals my eldest makes.

    Keep up the good work! It’s great that you’re finding a rhythm with both daughters. The logistical side of things can be a challenge.

    • Even better–the children come up with their own activities! 🙂 I know my girls will get there one day. . . (Lulu is already pretty adept at using up leftover pieces of paper.)

  2. I love taking otherwise garbage and turning it into a craft or learning tool. 🙂 Smart thinking!
    Some people use egg cartons for grouping. Give her a ton of buttons and have her sort them. She can decide criteria (number of holes, size, color, texture, whatever).
    Can you believe that in China we don’t have egg cartons? Nope. We put the eggs right into a plastic bag, weight them, and take them home. So sad. No fun cartons for crafts.

  3. You can start addition or subtraction. Since you already have the holes numbered, use the egg carton like a number line. 3 buttons plus 7 buttons is how many buttons? Or, how many buttons would we have left if we started with ten and gave seven of them away?

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