What to do with this activity?
Colourful plastic or paper drinking straws are easy to find in the shops and inexpensive. There are lots of things that you can make with them. The necklaces in the above photo are easy to make. They will also let your child practise maths skills like measuring with a ruler, and understanding some basic three-sided and four-sided shapes - triangles, squares and rectangles.
All you need are colourful drinking straws, string, child friendly scissors, a ruler and a marker pen. Using a ruler, help your child mark out even lengths on each straw with a marker pen. If you are making triangles, each length can be about 3 centimetres. If you want to make squares, mark them around 2 centimeters long. Cut the straws into "beads" where you have marked them.
For a triangle - thread three "beads", then thread the string back through the first of the three beads. Pull the string so that it forms a triangle, then make the next triangle in the same way and repeat.
For a square - thread four "beads", then thread the string back through the first one and tighten the string to form a square. Repeat.
For a rectangle - cut two different length "beads" and thread the shorter ones as the second and fourth of every group.
Here's another thing you can make with drinking straws - a gorgeous butterfly from Krokotak.
Children learn numbers and maths in a natural way through play and everyday activities. It’s different to school and should always be fun and practical – that way your child will enjoy working with numbers.
Your child also develops a sense of patterns and what time means in everyday life. This is important for helping your child to manage everyday activities – going places, how long they have to wait and understanding when things will happen in the future.
Talking about numbers helps your child’s fluency in counting, estimating and understanding numbers and money in everyday life. It takes time for children to understand addition and subtraction so use objects when helping them understand this or when doing their homework.
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