Mystery Math: A Crayon Resist Activity

Here is a fun math activity that is part art and part detective work! It’s an easy and unique way to get your kindergartner to practice their math skills!

Looking for a fun way to practice simple math with your kindergarten aged child? Mystery Math activity is part art,part math and part detective work!

The painting technique used in this activity is called crayon resist art and the results are always so beautiful! You write the numbers in white crayon on white paper and let your little one uncover the math equation using watercolours!

Here’s how to create your own Mystery Math Activity

Grab your supplies. On watercolor paper or white paper draw lines to separate each math problem. On each line write out a math problem using the white crayon.

Helpful Tip!

When writing out the numbers in white crayon press slightly harder than you normally would to ensure that it shows up when your little one paints over it with the watercolours.

My four year old is working on simple addition and subtraction of numbers less than ten. You can adjust the math problem depending on the current skill level of your child.

Uncover the Math Mystery

Now it’s time for your little one to put on their detective hat and uncover the math problem in front of them! Using the watercolours have your little paint the line to try and discover what the math problem is.

Once they have figured out the answer have them write it out themselves in white crayon and then paint over it with the watercolors.

Using Counters

Using counters to help your little one understand math is a very effective way to reinforce math concepts such as addition, subtraction and much more. At home you can turn almost anything into a counter. I like to use squeeze pouch caps as counters. You can also use beans, stones, small toys, blocks or marbles.

Have your little one use counters to figure out the answers.

Total Hit

My daughter loves doing watercolor activities so this was going to be a total winner no mater what. But she really loved uncovering the numbers and working out the math problem. The crayon resist art combined with the math problems was a fantastic combination!


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  • Watercolours
  • White crayon
  • Watercolor paper or white paper
  • Sharpie


Author: Mandisa Watts

Hello! I'm Mandisa, I'm the founder of Happy Toddler Playtime and author of Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids, The Big Riddle Book for Kids and Super STEAM Activity Book. I'm also the TV host and producer of Curious Crafting (nominated for Best Live Action Preschool Series in April 2023). I share fun and easy kids crafts, sensory, learning and STEAM activity ideas for busy parents, caregivers and teachers. I also share fun riddles for kids!

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