Monday, October 22, 2012

{Playing Through Autumn Day 23} Acorn Math

After an unexpected hiatus (filled with illness, long hours at work, and transitioning L into a new bed), our family has finally been able to get back into the swing of things and focus on some fun! It has been a rough couple of weeks in our house, but I am so excited that L and I were able to get back to doing what we do best: playing! In keeping with our Playing Through Autumn series, I recently presented L with a simple bowl of acorns. I wasn't sure exactly what she would make of them, but as usual, she found a way to make the simplest materials engaging.

The first thing she wanted to do was count the acorns. She's been really into counting lately, so it was fun for her to have such a big number of items to count. Pausing only briefly to discuss the fact that squirrels eat acorns, she counted them for quite some time.

Our next phase of acorn-y goodness brought us to talking about the size of the acorns. L noticed that some were "teeny tiny" while other were "big, big, big." She took to holding one in each hand to check which one was the "littlest."

After that, we got out a cookie sheet and lined them up in a row. L loved scattering the acorns across the sheet and listening to the sound they made. Very musical!

I have to admit I was pretty impressed with what a simple bowl of acorns could do for my kid. Having never been much of a math enthusiast myself, I really strive to get L excited about mathematical concepts. All on her own she was counting, patterning, and comparing sizes, with very little prompting from me. Plus, since we have been reading so many books concerning autumn, she already had a pretty good knowledge base about the acorns. I love autumn for so many reasons, and now I have another to add to the list!

How have you been incorporating the season of autumn into playtime? Are your kids interested in any particular aspect of the season?


  1. So happy things are better for you guys! I love your blog - it has given me endless inspiration for play with my kids! Please keep writing! Just out of curiosity, how old is your daughter? Mine is about to turn 2 but she hasn't started counting yet. Maybe I should start working on it with her?

    1. So glad you are enjoying the blog, Dorothy! And thanks so much for the well wishes, it's great to be back! L will turn 2 at the beginning of December. We started counting things with her when she showed an interest. One day we happened to see two motorcycles driving by, and L said, "Two motorcycles." She's wanted to count everything since! If you do want to start working on counting with your own kiddo, I recommend just doing it organically - when you see a small group of items, give them a count! It's fantastic at this time of year because you see bunches of pumpkins and apples all over the place. I'm sure she'll pick it up in no time. Good luck!