Use a number caterpillar to teach 20-50 number work that will get your children working on these numbers using base ten blocks, tally marks, and ten frames.
Has it started to feel like spring in your area? This week our weather has been warm, and sunny, with a chance of showers.
Once spring hits, a thin layer of green pollen covers EVERYTHING, and our excitement over the sunshine is often diminished as everyone deals with red itchy eyes and runny noses.
Despite all that, we have spent as much time as we could outside, and I wanted to create a spring-like math activity to celebrate this season.
I can’t believe my four-year-old will be starting kindergarten in August. We are continuing our work on sight words and the alphabet words, and he joins in for most of my six-year-old’s math activities.
He understands some, and some fly over his head.
He enjoys this time with us, so I let him participate and see what sticks.
Today I decided to create something just for him.
Caterpillar Count Game
These cute little guys are an awesome way to practice numbers 20 through 50. First, decide how you want to use this.
Will it be a center for your student that they will do over and over? Or is it a caterpillar craft to send home?
Math Caterpillar Center:
- Print off each page on cardstock paper. Print off the page with the heads 3 times.
- Cut them out and then laminate them. (I recommend Scotch Thermal Laminator 2 Roller System if you do not have access to one)
- Divide them up so that the children are not overwhelmed. I would recommend the max be 10 caterpillars per session, but you may only want to do five depending on the needs of your child or students.
Math Caterpillar Craft
If you want to make it more of a craft, just provide glue and scissors. I would still recommend dividing them up depending on the child. My four-year-old was able to handle doing about eight at a time before his attention span ran out.
Before you begin, you want to make sure your students have worked with ten frames, tally marks, and base ten blocks. Here are a few activities if you feel you need more work or want to introduce your students to these concepts.
- FREE Base Ten Blocks Activity For Building Number Sense
- FREE Comparing Numbers with Base Ten Blocks Worksheets
Caterpillar Numbers: How to use for 20-50 Number Work
Once you are sure they understand tally marks, base ten blocks, and ten frames you are ready to go. Spread out the circles on the table.
Have them put down all the heads and the numeric numbers. Then let them grab whatever they want to do next, and have them figure out what the card is modeling or representing.
Once they figure out the number, they can add it to the correct caterpillar.
What I worked on most with my four-year-old, was remembering if we needed to count by fives or tens. Almost daily we sing counting songs, so counting is almost second nature to him.
What he struggles with is remembering to count by fives with the tally marks, and tens with the base ten blocks and ten frames.
The other thing we really have to work on is being able to switch from counting by fives or tens to counting by ones. We pulled out our trusty 100’s chart and dry-erase markers as a tool to help him with this.
He is definitely getting better the more we practice.
Enjoy making the number caterpillar! You can also make it caterpillar day and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Counting Caterpillar Printable
Below is the free counting caterpillar printable. To download, click on the download button and then save it to your device, and then print it.