Super easy to set up counting activity using pom poms and water. Yes, you read that right. Pom poms and water or more accurately – pom poms IN water. I guarantee this concept alone will excite your toddler or preschooler!
Here’s what you will need to get started:
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The only thing you need to do ahead of time for this activity is to write 1 to 10 on ten plastic drinking cups using a black sharpie. When your toddler/ preschooler is done with this activity, save these cups to use in other counting activities in the future.
So at first my toddler/preschooler really wanted to touch the pom poms in the water with her hands. This was such a new sensory experience that I just let her play around for a little bit for starting the counting part of the activity. After a few minutes, I let her know that there will be plenty of time to play with the pom poms in the water after we were done counting.
NOW FOR THE FUN PART
I modeled the first one – scooping a pom pom out of the water with the slotted spoon and dumping it into the cup – and she immediately said, “let me try!”. That is the trick to getting them interested and involved, show them how first and when they see how fun it is they will immediately want to try!
For the first few cups (1 to 5), she was able to scoop out the exact number of pom poms on her spoon after a few tries. To ensure that she had the correct number she counted them, then carefully walked them over to the plastic up and dumped them in.
ADDING MATH TO THIS ACTIVITY
I have not formally introduced the concept of addition and subtraction to my toddler/preschooler yet. Although she has seen examples of it in books. A really great book I like that introduces early math is Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
So here’s how I added a bit of math. When we got to the bigger numbers 5 to 10, she would scoop up as many as she could, I would stop and ask her how many do you have. She would count them and put them into the number cup. Then I would ask her how many more do you need? She of course can’t do the math yet so I would just model it for her and let her know how many more she needed to get the right amount in the cup.
Another way to add math to this activity is by having your preschooler scoop the pom poms by twos, especially if they have mastered counting from 1-20.
Dump the water out. Use the slotted spoon to hold back the pom poms during this process. Then squeeze out the extra water in the pom poms and set them out in the dry sensory bin to dry.
SHARING IS CARING. IF YOU TRIED AND LIKED THIS ACTIVITY SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!