Cookies, Cookies what a treat

They smell so yummy, and are good to eat!

We make them, bake them,

and share them with friends.

We are all so sad when they come to an end!

Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and peanut butter too

So many choices, what will we do?

                            -Anji Audley

 

Childhood and cookies go hand in hand. Your child will delight in a variety of engaging activities that can be done with Learning Resources Smart Snacks Counting Cookies, supplied by Safari Ltd. This post will guide you in how to playfully engage your child in thirteen different activities (eight math activities and five developmental play activities) all using the Counting Cookies kit.

 

Math Activities

Having a strong number sense is the basis for understanding mathematical operations. What in the world is number sense? It is the deep understanding of numbers and how they work. Graham Fletcher has a fantastic video showing the progression of number sense concepts. The following math activities will foster your child’s number sense development.

 

 

The Progression of Early Number & Counting from Graham Fletcher on Vimeo.

One-to-One Correspondence

What is one-to-one correspondence? It is the ability to recognize that a number represents a specific quantity and is demonstrated by matching one number to one corresponding object while counting. This is a prerequisite for more abstract counting and number sense activities. Children will learn this skill at varying speeds. Some children will take months to truly master one to one correspondence, and so be patient, have fun, and keep practicing.

Before a child can find success with one to one correspondence, they need to be able to count orally by memory. Practice counting aloud with your child by inserting counting in everyday activities (how long it takes to walk across the room, washing hands, jumping, etc). Songs are also a wonderful way to introduce counting (5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, 5 Little Speckled Frogs, etc).

*Note: In the one to one correspondence activities, you will be ignoring the numbers printed on each cookie, and instead focus on using the cookies as individual counters.

 

Activity 1: Cookie Sheet Counting

This activity will provide one to one correspondence practice.

 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies
  • Cookie Baking Pan (Real or Drawn)
  • 10 circles (use the cookies from Counting Cookies set to trace cookie shapes onto a piece of paper and cut out)
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Spatula (optional)

*You can print cookie templates instead of making your own.

Get Your Free Cookie-Counting Template!

Procedure:

  1. Trace Counting Cookies onto paper to create paper cookies or print cookie template.
  2. Cut out paper cookies.
    • If your child is able, you can have them use child safe scissors and assist you in cutting out the circles for added fine motor skill practice.
  3. Set up cookie sheet by placing or taping paper cookie circles onto the cookie baking pan. I recommend starting with only 3, and then, when your child is comfortable, moving up to 4 or 5, etc.
  4. Sit with your child and tell them that you are going to “bake” pretend cookies, and you need to count to make sure that you have enough for everyone.
  5. Show them the paper circles on the pan.
  6. Say, “Let’s count the circles to find out how many cookies we need.” Count out loud with them, making sure to touch each paper circle as you count. Ask how many cookies are needed.
  7. Next, explain to your child that they will be matching the Counting Cookies to the circles on the pan, and that only one cookie can go on each circle. Tell your child that you will help them count as they place the cookies onto the circles. Each time that a cookie is placed on the circle count up to the next number.
  8. Cookies can be placed with a spatula or with fingers.
  9. After all cookies have been placed, ask how many cookies they are “baking.”
  10. Ask them to help you recount and check the number of cookies. Make sure to help your child touch each cookie as they count.
  11. Add 1-2 more circles to the pan, and repeat the process. You can also encourage your child place however many circles they want, and help them repeat the matching and counting process.

 

Activity 2: “Chocolate Chip” Counting

This activity will give your child one to one correspondence practice and fine motor skill practice.

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies
  • Cookie Baking Pan (Real or Drawn)
  • Writing Utensil
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • 10 circles (use Counting Cookie cookies to trace cookie shapes onto a piece of paper and cut out.
  • Chocolate chips or something that looks like chocolate chips (raisins, black/brown pompoms, black beans, etc).
  • Tweezers or pinching tool
  • Jumbo Tweezers

*You can print cookie templates instead of making your own.

Procedure:

  1. Trace Counting Cookies onto paper to create paper cookies or print cookie template
  2. Draw small circles on each paper cookie to represent the chocolate chips. I recommend focusing on up to 3, and then, when your child is comfortable, moving up to 4 or 5, etc. There can be more than one cookie with the same number of “chocolate chips,” giving the child more practice with each.
  3. Cut out paper cookies
  4. Set up cookie sheet by taping paper cookie circles onto the cookie baking pan.
  5. Explain to your child that they will be counting chocolate chips to go onto the cookies. Each small “chocolate chip” circle can only have one chocolate chip.
  6. Show your child how to match one “chocolate chip” to each small circle on the cookie. Count out loud as your child places each of the “chocolate chips.” Your child can use tweezers or their fingers to place “chocolate chips.” Both options are good for developing their fine motor skills and pincher grasp.
  7. After all small circles are filled with “chocolate chips” on a cookie, state how many chocolate chips there are, and then recount to check the amount on that cookie. Make sure to have your child touch each “chocolate chip” while counting.
  8. Match the corresponding cookie from the Counting Cookies set to the appropriate paper chocolate chip cookie.
  9. Added fun, if you used real chocolate chips or raisins, you can have your child eat each snack instead of just touching it as they do the recount.

 

 Activity 3: Roll, Count, and Compare Game

Matching number of cookies to the amount shown on a dice. This activity helps with one to one correspondence, comparing more/less/same, and subtilizing (visually recognizing a quantity by memory without counting).

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Dice (large dice are a better visual than small dice) or cards with dots printed on them (you can print and use the dot cookie template)
  • 2 plates

Procedure:

  1. Tell your child that you are going to play a game.
  2. Each player gets a plate and one dice.
  3. Show your child how to roll the dice and count the number of dots that are shown on the top face of the dice when it lands.
  4. Have them take one cookie at a time out of the cookie jar and lay the cookies out on their plate to match the pattern on the top face of the dice.
  5. Second player rolls the dice, counts dots, and lays out the corresponding number of cookies on their plate.
  6. Compare the two plates, and have a conversation about more/less/same. Do you have the same amount? If not, which plate has more cookies? How can you find out?
    1. You can compare by matching the cookies: take the cookies from one plate and lay each one on top of the cookies from the other plate (one at a time)…how do they compare; were there the same amount, not enough (less), or too many (more)?
  7. Put cookies back into the cookie jar and play again.

 

Activity 4: Cookie Line Up

This activity will provide practice with one to one correspondence by moving cookies one at a time into a line as they count. 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and jar
  • 1 Dice

Procedure:

  1. Show your child how to roll the dice and count the number of dots that are shown on the top face of the dice when it lands.
  2. Have them take one cookie at a time from the jar and count as they place the cookies in a line.

 

Activity 5: Party Time

This activity provides practice with one to one correspondence, more/less/same, social/emotional and language skills.

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Plates, cups, and napkins (amount depends on number of party attendants).
  • Party attendants-can be people or even toy animals (Safari Ltd figurines), dolls, stuffed animals, etc.

Procedure:

  1. Get your kids excited for a cookie party!
  2. Set “friends” (Animal figurines, real people, dolls, or stuffed animals) in a circle on a blanket or at a table…take it outside for added playfulness.
  3. Help your child get plates, cups and napkins.
  4. Encourage your child to pass out one plate, one cup, and one napkin to each friend. Make sure that they set a place for themselves.
  5. Pass out cookies from Counting Cookies kit to each plate. This can be done a few different ways:
  • Pass 1 cookie to each plate
  • Roll a dice and pass that many cookies to a plate
  • Reach into jar and grab a handful of cookies for each plate.

*Whatever option you choose, you can discuss more/less/same and ask if your child if they think that everyone got a fair amount of cookies. Why or why not? If not, how can they make it fair? *

 

Number Introduction Activities

 

Activity 1: Cookie Picnic

This activity will help your child practice identifying numbers 0-10

 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • 11 Paper or Plastic Plates
  • Numbers stickers 0-10 or permanent marker to write numbers

 

Procedure:

  1. Place a number sticker or write one number (0-10) on a plate. One number per plate.
  2. Have your child reach into the Cookie Jar and pull out a cookie.
  3. Help your child touch and count the chocolate chips on the cookie.
  4. Turn the cookie over and say the number. Point out that the number matches the amount of chocolate chips.
  5. Match the number on the cookie to the number on a plate.

 

*Bonus Activity*

Bonus Activity Materials:

  • Play Doh
  • black beans or beads (to represent chocolate chips)
  • cookie cutters

Bonus Activity Procedure:

  • Make cookies with Play Doh.
  • Put one Play Doh cookie on each numbered plate.
  • Count out “chocolate chips” to be placed in the Play Doh cookie to match the number on the plate.

 

Activity 2: Number Set Match

This activity will help your child to identify a number in various forms. Your child will be making matching number sets.

 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Paper (card stock would be best)
  • Numbers stickers 0-10 or print cookie template with numbers
  • Dot stickers or other small stickers
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • 11 Plates

 

*You can print tally mark, number and dot cookie templates instead of making your own.

 

Procedure:

  1. Trace cookies from Counting Cookies to make 33 circles or print cookie templates.
  2. On 11 circles, place a number sticker or write the numbers 0-10 (each cookie will have its own number) or print from template.
  3. On 11 cookies, draw tally marks to represent numbers 0-10 (each cookie will have its own number) or print from template. Teach your child that when looking at tally marks, a slash means 5: “one, two, three, four, five tallies shuts the door.”
  4. On 11 cookies, place dot stickers to represent numbers 0-10 (each cookie will have its own number) or print from template.
  5. Have your child pick a Counting Cookie from the jar and say the number on the cookie by counting the chips or by looking at the number. They will then place the cookie on a plate.
  6. Find all of the paper cookies that represent the same number as the chosen cookie. Their plate should contain a Counting Cookie, a tally mark cookie, a number cookie, and a dot sticker cookie that all have the matching quantity.

 

Activity 3: Snack Race Game

This activity will help your child practice identifying numbers 0-10. 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Paper (card stock would be best)
  • Numbers stickers 0-10
  • Marker
  • Scissors

Procedure:

  1. Place paper number cookies in random order on one side of the room.
  2. Have your child draw a cookie from the Cookie Count Jar
  3. They will then count the chocolate chips on their cookie, say how many chocolate chips there are, and then race to find the matching paper number cookie and then race back to put them in a pile. You can make this more exciting by having two kids race (for the same cookie or have two of each cookie) or time your child racing to the cookies.

 

*Bonus Activity*

Bonus Activity Materials:

  • 2 bowls filled with “chocolate chips”: real chocolate chips, raisins, black pompoms or black beans (something to represent chocolate chips)
  • 2 pairs of tweezers
  • 2 blank “cookies” (plates or larger circles would work well to use as “cookies”).

 

Bonus Activity Procedure:

  • Each player gets a pair of tweezers and a paper cookie.
  • Draw one cookie from the Cookie Count Jar and place it on the table with the number facing up.
  • Two players race to add the corresponding number of “chocolate chips” to their “cookie.”
  • Whomever gets the correct amount of “chocolate chips” placed on their “cookie” first wins that round. Play again J

 

Activity 4: Bakery

This activity will help your child with identifying numbers 1-10, social/emotional development, and creativity. This can be adjusted for difficulty depending on how items are priced.

  1. To begin, price each item as 1 cent or 1 dollar, so that there is a one to one correspondence when they pay.
  2. When you feel that your child is ready, items can be priced varying amounts between 1-10 cents/dollars, and then have your child pay for one item at a time.
  3. Finally, items can be priced varying amounts between 1-10 cents/dollars, but can be added together to get a total price.

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Pennies (real or pretend) or 1 Dollar Bills (real or pretend)
  • Various “baked goods” (play foods, real snacks, Play Doh food, or paper food). You can print paper food template to have your child decorate, or create your own!
  • A display area (table, shelves, food stand, etc)
  • Pretend Cash register (optional) or container for money. Check out the awesome play register found on Safari Ltd. https://store.safariltd.com/search?type=product&q=cash*+register*
  • Price tags (Make sure that prices are whole amounts between 1-10)
  • Bakery Sign (optional)
  • Apron (optional)
  • Basket, bag, or a tray for shopper to gather purchased items
  • Purse or wallet to hold money for shopper

 

Procedure:

  1. Make or gather play baked goods or real snacks.
  2. Set up “bakery” display with prices.
  3. Shopper will select items to purchase.
  4. Help your shopper to figure out their total and to count out proper amount of money.

 

Extension Activity: Adding

This activity will help your older child to practice addition. 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Paper and Pencil or white board and marker

 

Procedure:

  1. Have your child choose two cookies from the cookie jar.
  2. Have them add the number of chips on the two cookies.
  3. After doing this orally, they can learn to write the problem and solve.

 

Developmental Activities

 

Activity 1: Cookie Rubbing

This is a sensorial activity that will develop fine motor skills and provide sensory input.

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Paper
  • Crayons

Procedure:

  1. Lay a counting cookie on the table.
  2. Place a blank piece of paper on top of the cookie.
  3. While tightly holding the cookie and paper in place, by pinching the sides of the cookie through the paper, have your child color on top of the paper that is covering the cookie. This should produce an image of what is on the cookie…depending on which side of the cookie you chose, either darkened areas where the chocolate chips are, or a darkened number where the number is. I have found that the number side works the best.

 

Activity 2: Cookie Decorating

This activity will help your child develop fine motor skills, provide sensory input, and build creativity.

 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies
  • Play Doh
  • Washable paint with paintbrush
  • Circle cookie cutter or cup

Procedures:

  1. Roll Play Doh and cut out circles to represent cookies.
  2. Make impressions of the Cookie Counter Cookies by firmly pressing the chocolate chip side into the Play Doh.
  3. Add “decorations” made by your child onto the actual Cookies from the Counting Cookies set or onto the impressions of cookies made in the Play Doh.
  4. Decorate by adding “sprinkles” or “icing” made from Play Doh.
  5. You could even let them paint the actual plastic Counting Cookies with washable paint, and then press the painted side onto paper to make cookie prints. When finished, have your child wash the cookies.

 

Activity 3: Cookie Toss

This activity will help your child with gross motor skills

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies
  • Defined spaces: Various bowls, baskets, towels, hoola hoops laid on the ground, circles drawn with chalk, etc (You just need to provide designated targets for your child to toss the cookies into).

Procedure:

  1. Take turns grabbing a cookie, saying the number on the cookie, and then tossing the cookie into one of the defined spaces.
  2. To make it more challenging, add numbers 1-10 to the defined spaces, and then try to toss the counting cookie into the corresponding number space.

 

Activity 4: Cookie Balance Relay

This activity will help your child with both large and fine motor skills.

 

Materials:

  • Learning Resources Counting Cookies and Jar
  • Spatula
  • Pan or plate
  • Line marked on the ground (length is up to you). The line can be made on the floor with painter’s tape or outside on the concrete with chalk.

Procedure:

  1. Take a cookie from the jar and balance the cookie up on a spatula.
  2. Balance the cookie on the spatula while walking on a line to place the cookie on a pan/plate.
  3. This can be made more challenging by trying to complete the task within a certain amount of time.

 

*Extension Activity: Bake Real Cookies*

This activity will help your child with math, language development, social/emotional development, fine motor, and practical life skills.

  • Choose your favorite cookie recipe to make with your child (See the Mud Pie Stomp Cookie recipe on the Safari Ltd Blog)
  • Keeping in mind age and ability, encourage your child to help with as much of the baking process as possible.
  • Engage your child by talking with them about the ingredients, cooking utensils, and recipe steps. Taste test ingredients and talk about the flavors. Most importantly, relax and have a blast with your kiddo!

 

Anji Audley is an early childhood educator with experience in grades Pre-K through First. She is also a mom of two active and creative boys, ages 9 and 13. Anji is a strong advocate for play-based learning. She infuses learning with STEM activities, play, and art to inspire discovery and creativity. 

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