Tag Archives: numbers

Number Recognition On The Cheap

August is quickly approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about a new year of homeschooling.  One area of focus for Noah is going to be number recognition and understanding.  I made this for Noah a few months ago – a simple activity with a paper plate and clothespins – and we pulled it out again today.



  1. Using a marker, divide a paper plate into four sections.
  2. Number each section 1-4.
  3. Place dots that correspond to the number in each section.
  4. Write numerals that correspond to the dots in each section on clothespins.
  5. To use, have your child clip the clothespin onto the appropriate dots around the plate.  (One clothespin with the number 1 will go in the section marked 1, two clothespins marked with the number 2 will go in the section marked 2, etc.)

When Noah first did this activity months ago, it was more a fine motor activity than anything else.  He needed me to show him where to place each clothespin.  Gradually, through pointing out to him that the number on the clothespin is the same as the number on the section on the plate, he has become independent in this activity and even is attempting to name the numbers.  Progress!

Knowing the ASL sign for same was definitely a plus for this activity.  Here’s a video:  http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/SAME/368/1.

The script I used for Noah was simple – I pointed to the number on the clothespin and said it, I pointed to the number on the plate and said it, and then I signed and said “same.”  Between this and the fact that Noah had to use the small muscles of his hand to manipulate the clothespins turned this academic activity into one that worked his number skills, his fine motor skills and his language skills.

All for the cost of a paper plate and some clothespins.

For more fine motor activities that work the small muscles of the hand, visit http://www.therapystreetforkids.com/fm-strength.html.

One App at a Time – Motion Math Hungry Fish App Review

From www.motionmathgames.com  comes this description of Motion Math Hungry Fish:

“Your fish is hungry – hungry for numbers! This fun addition and subtraction game for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch has instant addition: touch two numbers together to instantly add. Most addition games teach in the form 3 + 4 = __; Hungry Fish challenges players to find different ways to make a 7 (1+6, 2+5, 3+2+2, etc.). There’s 18 levels of challenge (for 4-year-olds to adults) and bonuses to customize your fish with new colors and fins.

iPhone Screenshot 1

iPhone Screenshot 2

Screen shots from http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motion-math-hungry-fish/id483049169?mt=8.

App:  Motion Math – Hungry Fish

Ages – 4 years-adult

Cost – Free, in app-purchases .99 to 8.99

4-1/2 out of 5 stars

Motion Math – Hungry Fish is a high-quality math game that provides drill-type learning in a fun and fast-paced environment.  I loved this game because there is an age-appropriate level for everyone in my family from my 3-year-old to my accountant husband.  There are three skills covered in the paid version:  Addition, subtraction and negatives with two environments to choose from for each skill.  Each environment in the paid version has 18 skill levels which automatically advance as you work through the game.  This adds up to a whopping 108 unique options with each new game generating a new set of numbers.     

I love this game!!!  The features are very easy to understand and manipulate.  How to Play, Parent Guide, Options and About are all very well-documented, an unusual feature for most of the apps available.  Lots of screen shots and clear directions make this game easy to navigate.

A high score screen allows multiple players, in our case siblings and Mom, to keep track of their point – great for this competitive family.

Controlling the bubbles is very easy, the settings seem to be exactly right where the screen is sensitive but not too sensitive to the players touch.

This is a great way to drill addition, subtraction and negative fact families, and you’ll be amazed at your child’s (and your own) increased mental math speed and accuracy as they work their way through the boards.  This game requires players to think ahead and keep the available numbers in their working memory as they pair up numbers to match the fish’s number.

I gave this 4-1/2 out of 5 stars because although the value, concept, quality, efficacy and ease of use are all high, from the first level and environment to the last, the action is the same; only the numbers and environment are different.  I don’t think that will dissuade very many users from getting hooked on this great way to practice math.

For the free starter version of Motion Math – Hungry Fish, go to :  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motion-math-hungry-fish/id483049169?mt=8.


Okay.  So we ate way more jelly beans than we counted.  Who’s keeping score?  The fine motor exercise alone was worth the effort of this activity, not to mention the early math skills we practiced.









For the free printable counting chart, click https://wordsofhisheart.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/counting-board.pdf.  You can use this chart either horizontally or vertically.