Graph the counting bears could not come at a better time!
Here we are somewhere between holidays looking for a bit of balance mixing in old faithful preschool activities. Well, here it is! Graphing the counting bears is a classic math activity to be enjoyed by many stages and ages.
The best part of this easy idea is the bears.
You know the ones I am talking about. – That bin of colorful bears you had no idea would bring you so much joy. Don’t have the bears yet? Find them there. They give us life.
We love sorting.
So let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
Let’s take this up a notch, taking everything we’ve sorted and adding it into a graph.
Can my toddler graph?
It’s possible! It is also possible that your preschooler needs a little more time with sorting.
I like to focus on the stages more than the ages.
The best way to see what your child is ready for is to set it up and give it a try! And if you’ve been here a while, you know that setting it up means it takes less than five minutes.
As my child plays, I pay attention to his cues.
The idea of this graphing activity is to sort the colors into each section of the graph.
What my preschooler wanted to do FIRST was create patterns.
This independence leads me in two directions.
- Redirct him and ask him to put the bears on the graph how they go.
- Allow my preschooler to take the lead and watch where he heads.
Now, if you’ve been here a while, you know we went with option two.
As facilitators, we are much more likely to go further when we allow our children to explore thier ideas first.
So rather than fight it, I allowed my preschooler to think about his patterns, and as he worked, I shared some points about the graph.
Take a look here; there is a section for each color.
This is called a graph.
When we graph, we keep the same colors in the same column.
Let’s make patterns first, and then let’s see if we can work on this graph.
Using this conversation reminds him that his ideas are important (which they are) and that we have the next step.
RELATED: Looking for ideas to keep at home? CHECK OUT OUR ACTIVITY CARDS!
Let’s set this up together!
We only need three supplies. Wowza!
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First, place the paper on the table and add columns and rows.
Next, count out a few counting bears that will be used with the graph. Put the bears on the left of the paper.
Finally, number the graph on the left and add the colors to the bottom of the chart.
Let’s have conversations about our graph!
What I especially love about graphing is the conversations that come out of each one.
We can talk about which color has the most, the least, and EQUAL amounts.
To take this one step further, we chat about HOW MANY more or HOW MANY less. We can do that by seeing how many match side by side. We can use language such as one to one, one to one, one to nothing, one to nothing.
I know! There are TWO more yellows than blue because there isn’t a match here.
READY? Let’s get our preschoolers graphing!
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