Monday, December 19, 2011

Count, Stamp, and Graph Vehicle Wheels

When I used up all of my tan thread, I found it difficult to throw the little plastic spool away. The ends looked like a wheel. I tucked it away and figured I’d find a way to recycle it into an activity someday.

That day came when I read Margaret Mayo’s Dig Dig Digging to my toddler. The book provides page-by-page descriptions and graphics of all different kinds of vehicles.

With the book, a big piece of paper, a few empty spools, a stamp pad, and some vehicle labels, I was ready for my son when he got home from school.

First we read Mayo’s book. Then he added the labels, which I'd made and printed on sticker paper, onto a big piece of lined paper. Now all that was left to do was have him count the tires.
Download the labels I made here.

Since most of the graphics on the labels and in the book only show one side of the vehicle, my son had to count or multiply (e.g. 4+4 or 4x2) to determine how many TOTAL wheels there were on each vehicle.

Once he’d done that, he pressed the spool into an ink pad and stamped the number of wheels onto the graph. When he was done stamping the wheels for each vehicle, he counted the wheels in each row of the chart, circled the vehicle with the largest number of wheels, and wrote "winner" beside it on his chart.

Then, all on his own he explained to me which vehicles had the same number of wheels and asked if he could keep using "these cool stamps."