Read How Big Is a Foot? By Rolf Myller, and then invite the whole family to take part in a measuring activity. Trace each person's foot on a piece of heavy paper. Cut out all the feet and use them to measure objects such as a couch, bed, or bathtub. Have a family discussion about what you find out.
Tell your child it is Two-of-a-Kind Day. How many things can he think of that come in twos (e.g., eyes, ears, shoes, mittens, etc). For more "two" fun give him a pile of pennies and ask him to count them by twos.
Choose three sandwich ingredients (e.g., cheese, lettuce, and bologna), and challenge your child to tell you how many different kinds of sandwiches she can make (e.g., a cheese sandwich, a cheese and bologna sandwich, and so on). She'll be surprised by the number of combinations!
Read Mummy Math: An Adventure in Geometry, by Cindy Neuschwander. This book is for kids ages 7 to 10 , but can be used to introduce younger kids to 3D shapes such as cubes, cylinders, and spheres.
Show your child a picture of a group of people, such as a family picture or a class picture. Be sure all the people in the picture are easily countable. Ask, "How many eyes are in the picture?" Explain to him that since each person has two eyes, the easiest way to do this is to count by twos.
Challenge your child to tell you how many ways he can make "6" (e.g., 3 +3, 5+1, 7-1, etc.).
Invite your child to make No-Bake Granola Balls, a delicious and nutritious way for her to explore measurement. It is also a great opportunity to teach your child about staying safe in the kitchen (e.g., stay away from knives, don't touch the hot stove, etc.).
Here's something to do with all those spare buttons you've got cluttering up your dresser drawer. Give them to your child to sort. There are many ways to sort buttons (e.g., size, shape, color, thickness, etc.).
Create button patterns. Start a pattern for your child to finish (e.g., red button — green button — red button — green button — red button — what comes next?), and then ask your child to start one for you to finish.
Sesame Street premiered on this day in 1969. Celebrate this day by playing a shape game with Telly.
Even with little ones you can use containers to introduce concepts such as "full" and "empty." Let your child explore volume by encouraging her to pour water into and out of containers of different sizes.
It's National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, and that calls for ordering a pizza! Slicing the pizza is a good way to introduce your child to fractions. Talk about the parts of the pizza as you cut it into two "halves", four "quarters" and eight "eighths." Ask your child questions such as "How many quarters do you see in each half?" "How many do you see altogether?"
Ask your child to point out the shapes she sees in a pizza (e.g., olive and pepperoni slices are round, slices of pizza are triangles, etc.).
Here's a fun online game you can play with your child to help him recognize patterns, one of the foundations for algebra.
Use recycled materials such as cereal boxes, oatmeal containers, and paper towel rolls to make a home for a favorite small doll or stuffed animal. Give your child a ruler or something else to use as a measuring tool (e.g., paper clips, wooden block, crayon, etc.) so the house will be just the right size.
Tape a piece of drawing paper under a table. Invite your child to lie on her back to draw a picture. Talk about the paper being under the table, above her body, and that she'll have to lie down on the floor and put her hands up to draw a picture. A topsy turvy art project gives you lots of ways to use position vocabulary with your child.
Planning a road trip with the kids over the Thanksgiving holiday? Challenge your kids to a number hunt. Starting with the number "1" see how far they can count by finding numbers on license plates, road signs, on buildings, or anything else you drive by.
When you are planning the Thanksgiving meal, think of one dish that your child can help make. Here's an apple pie recipe that will give your child practice with measuring, and is easy enough for an older child to make almost entirely by herself.
Use a pencil to measure a piece of furniture such as a couch, table, or bed. How many pencils long is it? How many pencils high? Now measure the item again with a shorter pencil. Compare the two measurements. Discuss with your child why they are not the same.
When it is time to set the table for Thanksgiving dinner, ask your child to count how many people will be eating. Then say, “Can you count out the plates and eating utensils so there are enough for everyone?”
The word "hello" has five letters. Ask your child to think of other words with five letters. Then ask, "How many letters are there in your name?" and "Is that more or less than the number of letters in 'hello'?"
Did you know that everyone is either a square or a rectangle? If your arm span is the same length as your height you are a square. If one is longer than the other you are a rectangle. Help your child measure family members and find out who the squares are!
On the road after the holiday? Here's a fun game to play in the car. Pick a license plate and challenge your kids to scramble the numbers to make the largest or smallest possible number (e.g., 294 could be 942 or 249.)
Gather together several household items that typically go together (e.g., comb and brush, fork and spoon, pot and lid). Separate the matching items into two groups. Pick up an item from one group and ask your child to find its match in the other group. Continue until your child has found all the matches.
When you empty the dishwasher, put all the eating utensils (except sharp knives!) on the counter and ask your child to sort them by type.
Help your child burn off those Thanksgiving calories by giving him a minute challenge. Get a stop watch or a watch with a second hand and time your child as he jumps for a minute, hops for a minute, and does jumping jacks for one minute.
Read The Mitten, the classic Ukrainian children's tale as told by Jan Brett . Get a real mitten or draw one on a piece of construction paper. Ask your child to estimate how many pieces of popcorn (or other small item) will fit inside the real mitten or on the construction-paper mitten.
Fill a clear glass or jar with cranberries (or other small edible items such as nuts or mini marshmallows). Ask your child to estimate, or guess, how many there are, and then count them to find out.
Challenge your child to look around the room and find a square, a triangle, and a circle (e.g., a square window pane, a triangle pattern in the rug, a round plate).
Ask your child to count to 30 by 5's and then by 10's, both forward and backward.