Here’s a terrific idea from my friend Pamela Pounds. Pamela sends a note to parents the first week of school asking them to send crackers to help the children learn their shapes. (Ritz - circles, Club crackers - rectangles, Doritos - triangles, Wheat Thins - squares, and Town House crackers - ovals.) The parents are happy to send the crackers and they usually last for a month. Pamela says it’s not only a fun way to talk about shapes, but it’s nice for children who don’t have a snack.
I thought of several other additional math concepts you could reinforce:
*Give children two crackers and ask them to describe how they are different.
*Have children eat one half of a cracker.
*Give children a square cracker and challenge them to nibble it into a circle.
*Give children two like crackers. Ask, “Are they the same amount?” Next, have them break one of the crackers into little pieces. Ask, “Are they the same amount now?” You’ll be surprised at their response. This is called conservation of quantity and is an experiment Piaget used to demonstrate developmental stages.
*Give children a sheet of paper. Pass out a square cracker to each child and tell the children to draw what it looks like on their paper. Next, give them a circle shaped cracker and ask them to draw it. Continue with other shapes. It’s a fun way to practice pre-writing skills.
Pamela Pounds also shared this transition activity. She went to the school cafeteria and got the label off a can of applesauce. She glued it to paper and added a stick. When she wants the children to sit “criss cross applesauce” she holds up the sign. It’s a great way to get children quiet and they are doing “logographic” reading and making print connections.