~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

Math with Gourds

We include math concepts naturally in our everyday activities here, but I also like to pull out and really focus on math at times.

A friend surprised me with 20 gourds over the weekend. She figured I’d find ways to use them with the children here. She probably didn’t think I’d work on counting, number awareness and developing an understanding of place value.


I started out adapting a ten frame thinking the children could place gourds in each frame box counting as they did. Having the number symbol present would reinforce number recognition.

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Then we ran out of numbered sections, but still had gourds left. What to do? DSC05462

The children had the answer – “Write more numbers.”

Out came another large sheet of paper and another ten frame sectioned off. This time I added in the numbers with the children counting. I did it as 1 to 10, but when I got to ten I asked how many sheets of paper we had. Answer 2. If each paper had 10 numbers on it that meant we had 2 groups of 10. That means we have 20 sections. I wrote the 0 and put the 2 in front to show the 2 groups of ten , 20.

I then went back and added 1 in front of all the other numbers talking about this meant 1 group of ten and we were adding on the extra number over that. We compared the number for each sheet in order to reinforce numerical order. We then counted 11 to 20. Then we counted 1 to 20. DSC05464 DSC05466 Time to fill in sections with the gourds. More counting.DSC05467 DSC05469 DSC05470

Interest still there, so let’s try some sorting. I let the children group the gourds together encouraging similar ones in the same line.


Expanding further I lined out charts and the children glued down circles representing colors found on the gourds.


Each gourd was picked off it’s number, colors checked and dots placed on the chart. Observation and charting are easy science skills to work into activities with children. DSC05480

Author: countryfun

35+ yrs in the classroom ~ love teaching ~ PLAY! ~ technology in ECE ~ sharing books ~ STEAM starts in ECE ~ outdoors ~ being CREATIVE!!

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