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Treasure Hunt

Fun mathWhat you'll need:
Large container, buttons, screws, bottle caps, old keys, anything else you can count, and graph paper (can be hand-drawn)

What to do:

  1. Find a container to hold the treasures.
  2. Sort and classify the treasures. For example, do you have all the same-sized screws or keys? How are they alike? How are they different?
  3. Use these treasures to tell addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division stories. For example, if we share 17 buttons among 3 friends, how many will we each get? Will there be some left over? Or if we have 3 shirts that need 6 buttons each, do we have enough buttons?
  4. For older children, you can organize the treasures by one characteristic and lay them end to end. Compare and contrast the different amounts of that type of treasure. For example, there are 3 short screws, 7 long screws, and 11 medium screws. There are 4 more medium screws than long ones. Make a simple graph showing how many of each type of screw there are. This activity may also provide an opportunity to talk about fractions: 7/21 or 1/3 of the screws are long.

Parent tip:
Organizing the "treasures" in one's house provides practice in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Children can also graph data on shapes and sizes.

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