On one of our nightly walks about a month ago, we discovered a small pond in our neighborhood. To my two little girls, this delightful discovery made them giggle and squeal with joy. When we came back a few weeks later, we saw goslings! Our excitement could not be contained! Just as these discoveries at our pond have brought about so much excitement, we hope to create that same feeling with your pond math activities this week. Check out our hands-on pond math centers here!
Pond Lesson Plans
Counting Sensory Bin
Anytime I bring out one of these sensory bins in which the kiddos get to feed an animal, their excitement cannot be contained. Maybe it’s the scooping and pouring. Perhaps they like to pretend they are feeding an animal. No matter what the reason, they love it and don’t even know they are learning!
With this one, we fed the frogs “flies” by scooping dried black beans into the frogs’ mouths. This pond math activity even incorporates color identification with the four colored frogs!
Tip: Use binder rings to keep the cards together in groups of 10, so they don’t get scattered all around the sensory bin or floor.
I haven’t had any luck with fishing in my life. The one fish I caught was unintentional, which to me, doesn’t even count. I sat on my grandparents’ houseboat for hours trying to catch a fish. My grandpa asked if we could switch spots for snack time, so I went in the back to watch his pole. Sure enough, I kid you not, my grandpa caught a fish on my pole! I’m pretty sure that was the last time I fished, maybe twenty years ago.
With this next math activity, the kiddos will surely have better luck than me catching fish with a magnetic fishing pole.
First, print out the fish in various sizes and attach paper clips to their mouths. Then, set out a plastic pool as a pond (or just blue butcher paper), and drop in a line. Probably within about two seconds, my kiddos caught a fish (see, better luck than me).
We then used snap cubes to measure the fish and recorded the length on the Fishing Hole recording sheet. Last, we sorted our fish into buckets according to size to add in one more mathematical moment. You just can’t go wrong with a fishing activity!
Ducks in a Row
Pond Math Activities
At one of our ventures down by the pond, we saw a new family of baby ducklings. I love how they swim and dart, but always stay close to their mama. It is my one wish that my girls stay close to me as they grow up. Cue the ugly cry!
For this Ducks in a Row activity, we added transparent chips (the ones with the metal border) on top of the ducks to equal the number on the mama duck.
As an additional activity, we also found the matching card with tally marks. We practiced counting the tally marks while tracing over them with a dry erase marker. Then, we would swipe away the chips with a magnet to easily and excitedly get ready for the next card.
Keep your ducks in a row with this low-prep math activity!
Frog Jump & Graph
Check this out! Who doesn’t want to flick jumping frogs to see how far they can leap?
I have to admit, I was like, “Move aside, kids. It’s my turn!” Just kidding, I waited until they left and then played by myself. My husband often comes home to me playing children’s games by myself. It’s a usual occurrence now.
First, we set up our starting line with the giant frog footprint ruler by taping them to the floor. Then, we flicked our frogs as far as we could. We counted along the frog foot ruler to see how many “feet” our frogs jumped. Finally, we used dot markers to record the length jumped on the graph. We just continued until one number hit the top of the graph.
Such a great way to learn through play with your pond math activities!
Row Your Boat STEM
Every summer, my sisters and I would take the canoe out on Lake McConaughy. We weren’t actually going out for a ride, though. We were going out to swamp the boat! I remember spending hours tipping the boat over and scrambling back in, laughter echoing back to our parents on the beach. Such good times.
With this next activity, however, we didn’t want the little people counters to swamp the boat. We wanted them to stay in and stay afloat.
I gave each child a 6″x6″ piece of aluminum foil and told them that was their one and only piece they would get the whole time, so be gentle. I gave them time (about 2-3 minutes) to design their first boat and then the tests began! One at a time, we would add in the people, counting as we went. When the boat finally did swamp, we drew our boat design and the number of people it held on the recording sheet.
As true engineers, the children learned from their mistakes and attempted to make their second and third boat designs better. This was such an engaging activity that incorporated so many foundational skills. Grab it for your classroom!
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MORE Pond Activities
These pond math activities are the perfect way to make learning fun and hands-on. Your preschoolers will have a blast practicing counting through a frog feeding activity and a Row Your Boat STEM challenge, measuring length with a fishing activity, graphing results with a frog jumping activity, and so much more! And the best part is that they’ll be honing their skills in mathematics without even realizing it.
So why not dive into some pond math today? The bundle of all activities is 20% off – what are you waiting for?
If there is anything you need to get this pond theme ready for your preschoolers, just let me know, and I would be happy to help with whatever you need!