Mini Monets and Mommies: Monster Math: Creative Counting with Kids

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monster Math: Creative Counting with Kids

The young child and math. If these two things don’t mix well in your house, you aren’t alone. Teaching math concepts to a preschooler (or toddler) is a bewildering experience for many parents. Well-meaning moms are bombarded with information from almost every angle—get hands-on, do worksheets, do drills, try flash cards, mix in a song, stand on your head, have her stand on her head. Ok, so those last two are made up, but it’s certainly confusing to know what the best way to teach your child is. You want to give her the best start possible, and don’t want to miss any opportunities to help her develop.

Kids' Counting

In all honestly, if she’s not doing algebra by first grade, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother or that you’ve ruined her chances of getting into Harvard. Different children learn differently. I count myself as very lucky. When my son was a toddler and preschooler I had spent years already working in early childhood education and was in the midst of getting a graduate degree in child development. I can remember my human learning professor showing us a video of a high-stung mother militantly drilling counting and number matching into her son’s head with flashcards. My professor was very, very, very against this approach. But, hey—if it works for you, then go ahead.

As an educator, and of course as a mom, I’ve always taken a more hands-on approach. While there are an infinite amount of ways to teach your little learner math, this activity is hands-on, creative, incorporates the arts and fun!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·         Cardboard or card stock paper

·         Scissors

·         Markers

·         Googley eyes

·         Your child’s choice of crafting materials- I used Model magic and craft feathers, but you can also use felt, fabric scraps, tissue paper , glitter or just about anything else that you have on hand.

·         Clear drying school glue

Here’s What to Do:

1.      Draw a number (bubble-style, with at least two inches in-between the lines) onto either cardboard or thick card stock paper. You can draw the number first in pencil, and then have your child trace it or use a large-sized stencil.

Kids' learning

2.      Cut the number out.
Kids' crafts

Mathematics activity

3.      Decorate the number, monster style. Not all monsters are scary. Even though those wild and wacky guys on Monsters, Inc. were meant to scare, they were awfully cute and cuddly too. Your child’s monster number can have feathers, fur, scales, stripes, squiggles or any other creative concoction that she can think up.

Math Art
Kids' costume
My little Sully!

4.      Here’s the counting part—Have her count out the number of eyes that matches the number. She can glue the eyes for the number onto it.
Monster Art

Instead of flashing cards at her in the future, get the monster numbers out and have her count eyes or point out what work watches the shape!

Are you looking or more artsy activities for your child? Check out and follow my Pinterest board for ideas.
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.


  1. Those are adorable! Great way to teach counting and number recognition.

  2. Definitely read this post with "Monster Mash" running through my head the entire time...

    1. That's so funny! Now I'll think of that too.

  3. This is such a great idea and so cute!

  4. So using this for home school!

  5. GREAT idea for connecting art and math - my 4 year old is going to love it! Featured your article on our blog today!

    1. Thanks. I enjoy connecting art with other content areas- it makes learning fun!

  6. Fun idea! A great way to teach numbers!

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