I saw this activity on The Imagination Tree and knew that we would be doing it as soon as I bought some Window Markers.
I choose two contrasting colors to work on ABAB patterning (blue, orange, blue, orange) for a future activity. Then using our Window Markers (which will stay on until they are rubbed off) I numbered the cubes to twenty (if you don't have Unifix Cubes, Legos work just as well).
At 39 months old, we sometimes forget a number (usually it's 13) when counting to twenty. Between the bath numbers (please see here for a quick and inexpensive water activity) and these blocks, I thought it would be a fun way to continue practicing number recognition and number order. Plus, we could also reinforce the mathematical concepts of more and less, greater than and fewer, taller and shorter while learning how to measure.
When we were ready to play, I invited the kiddos over for a fun math game. "Yay!" Oh, how I wish they will always respond that way to math. We first looked at the number line put together and I asked what they saw. Here are some of their answers/questions: numbers, colors, look a pattern, what number is this, can I play?
I modeled how to line up an object and then how to remove the extra cubes to determine the length. Then we pointed to each number as we counted how long an object is. After we practiced on a couple of books, they each scoured the room for an object that they wanted to measure. We played for about ten minutes measuring play food, stuffed animals, dinosaurs, blocks, Wild One's foot and baby. They kept running to find something new, "let's measure this!" I love how excited they get.
Tomorrow, we'll bring the cubes out again, and practice linking them in numerical order. We'll also practice some more measuring- maybe we'll look for items of the same color or items that start with a specific letter.