Ok, so they aren't real bugs. I was cleaning out the pantry and found a box of bug-shaped pasta that expired. Instead of just chucking it, I gave it to the kids for a quick math exploration.
I made a quick bar graph template (minus the titles), poured some bugs onto two plates and then invited Little Miss and Wild One over. I love how excited they get when I invite them over. Although this time I knew it had to do with, "who wants to play with BUGS?"
After a really brief explanation of our modified bar graph, including which bugs go into which column, they went to work sorting bugs by type and adding them to the bar graph. When they finished we counted all of the bugs on the graph.
We took a few bugs away from each column, then reinforced vocabulary more than, less than, equal to, greater than, fewer than, same as and altogether.
It was interesting watching how the two of them played with the bugs. Little Miss would search for all the butterflies and as she found one would add it to her graph. Wild One would locate each butterfly and put them aside, then he added them all to his graph.
Little Miss and I practiced an AB pattern with two of the bugs. After she completed a row, she just continued the pattern on the next row, and the next. Wild One decided at that point, he was done with the bugs and started building with his jumbo cardboard blocks.
I wanted to also work on ABBA patterning, but she had other ideas of just playing with the bugs. For the younger ones, a simple sorting the bugs into piles would be a great math game.
Sometime later (when there's time, there will be time sometime, won't there), I'm going to dye the pasta different colors. We'll use it for art and more math fun. Meanwhile, I'm glad that we got in our 10 minutes of dedicated math fun time.