Kids activities at home don’t need to require a ton of work or materials. Sometimes, the simplest activities with materials you already have are the ones kids love best, and the ones that keep them busy for longest. Today, I’m sharing some fun preschool learning activities you can do with your child using one egg carton and a variety of materials you may have laying around in your home or you find in nature. These preschool activities using egg cartons were a big hit in our home and I’m sure they will be in yours, too!
Preschool Activities Using Egg Cartons
As a mother, Kindergarten teacher, and person who tries to do my part to care for the environment, I get a thrill from using materials we already have in our home for learning activities and crafts. I used certain materials in these activities, but please feel free to adjust them based on what you already have available in your home. The materials I am using are suggestions only. I would love to see how you have put your own twist on it. Please do share your ideas in the comment section.
How do I make my name?
Children love to see their name in writing. Learning how to read and then create their name is something that brings them such pride. In this preschool egg carton activity, your child will have fun searching for letters and putting them in order so they can create their own name.
- Cut one egg carton cup for each letter in your child’s name.
- Write a different letter from your child’s name on the inside of each egg carton cup.
- Next, put the cups in order so your child can see their name. If your child is newer to seeing their name, you can write the letters in order on a piece of paper as well. I recommend teaching them the uppercase letter for the first letter and the rest of the letters as lower case letters. Be sure to write the letters the same on the carton cups as on the paper.
4. Turn the cups upside down so your child can not see the letters. Next, move the cups around. Your child can then lift each piece of carton until they find the letter which matches their first letter. Continue until all letters are found and placed in proper order to create your child’s name.
This preschool activity using egg cartons can be used over and over as a fun name game.
How much is? Representing Numbers
In this egg carton activity, your child will learn to relate the numerals 1-5 with their amounts. You will need five egg carton cups still attached together and at least 15 small items, which will fit in the egg carton cups. In this case, we had some pretzel sticks in the pantry to use.
- Write one numeral, 1-5, in the bottom of each egg cartoon cup. Write them in order from smallest to largest. This is creating a number line to five for your child.
- With your child, discuss the number inside a cup. Help your child put that many pretzel sticks in the cup one-at-a-time while you and your child count together. Start at one and continue with each cup up to five.
- Leaving the pretzels in the cups, begin again at one. This time, your child counts the pretzels as they take them out of the cups or as they eat them. Cheerios or any other small snack your child likes will work well for this, too.
- While you are filling cups with your child, discuss how the amount in each cup gets more as you move down the line closer to five.
- Having the numbers written in the correct order helps your child understand that numbers have a specific order. This will continue to be enforced as you count in the same order with your child.
How can I combine number recognition and counting with crafts? Making a Mobile
In this super cute preschool egg cartoon activity, your child will practice number recognition and counting. They will also have an adorable home made mobile to hang in their room. Your child will look at, count, and refer to this egg carton mobile many times as it hangs in their space.
- Cut five egg carton cups from an egg carton.
- Write a number 1-5 on each of the five cups.
- Cut 6 strings of various lengths.
- Using five different types of items you have at home, help your child count 1 of one item, 2 of another item, 3 of another item, 4 of another item, and 5 of the last item.
5. Poke a small hole in the middle of the egg carton cup with a 1 on it. Put a string through the hole and tie a knot in the end to keep the cup on the string. Attach the item, which represents 1, to the string. Do the same with cups 2-5. It is easier for your child to count them if you space the items on the string, so they are apart from each other. You can tie a knot under each item to keep it in place or glue the items onto the string.
6. Using a stick or a clothes hanger, wrap a pipe cleaner on the left side. Then tie the string representing 1 onto the stick/hanger. Wrap another pipe cleaner on the hanger, and add the string representing 2. Continue to do this until you have added the string representing 5. Then twist one final pipe cleaner around the stick. The pipe cleaners work as spacers to keep the number strings separated so they are easier for your child to see and count. It also looks nice.
7. Tie the final string in the middle of the stick/hanger. Use this to hang the mobile.
You can count the items on the mobile together as part of your child’s bedtime routine.
Why numbers to 5?
When children develop a good understanding of 5, it will then help them to learn:
- One-to-one correspondence
- Numbers have a constant order
- As we move from left to right on a number line or down the row of counting, the amount of each becomes greater.
- One more and one less
These are all concepts, which will be important to carry forward as your child begins to learn greater numbers.
Furthermore, once your child masters 5, they can then move on to 10. Having a strong understanding of 5 will help your child build a greater understanding of amounts to 10. For example, your child may begin to understand 8 is two 4’s. Next, they can see that an 8 also equals a 5 and a 3. Many valuable concepts of math can be taught with understanding 1-5.
I hope you enjoy these preschool activities using egg cartons. While you are doing them with your child, remember: the discussions you have with your child and their freedom to explore are important to developing the key understandings, while also creating a lifelong learner who learns for the fun of it.
Belinda is a mama to two little boys and an experienced Kindergarten teacher. She has a love of using nature and technology to enhance and motivate children’s learning. She values the use and training of growth mindset at home with her family and while teaching. Follow along with her on Pinterest.
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