Measuring Noodles for Chinese New Year
Gung Hei Fat Choi!
Happy Lunar New Year… and welcome to the Year of the Dragon.
The kids and I have been celebrating this week with books, food, music, and paint – well, yes, that’s the way we celebrate every holiday, come to think of it! Today, GoGoGirl and I celebrated with a little math, too.
I found this idea on the blog Learning with Mrs. Parker. She created this idea for her K-1 kids as a seasonal math center. Kids can pluck a “noodle” from the bowl and measure its length.
Mrs. Parker used yarn for her noodles, but I decided to go with strips of a beige felt about 1/4″ wide. I cut 12 strips to be 1″, 2″, 3″ and so on to 12″ long. I piled the noodles into one of GoGoGirl’s little bowls from her play kitchen, and added a set of her play chopsticks (they are shorter than real chopsticks and more manageable for this activity). Then I set out 12 linking cubes and a deck of laminated noodle bowl cards numbered 1-12.
We have played with this math set lots of different ways:
- practice using chopsticks to pick up one noodle at a time
- experiment with the linking cubes and practice putting them together and taking them apart
- name the numbers on the cards
- pull out a noodle, measure its length, and find the matching number card
- pull out a noodle and estimate its length, then measure to see if you were right
- line the noodles up in order of length (smallest to largest or largest to smallest)
- line the cards up in order (1-12 or 12-1)
- snap together a row of linking blocks and try to find the noodle that matches it
- find two noodles that combine to be 10 blocks long, then find all the combinations
- and of course, whip up some pretend play with the set, using the number cards as menus and the linking blocks as drinks or soy sauce!
I love this little math set, and am grateful to Mrs. Parker for the idea! Her post and several other of my favorite CNY finds are on my Pinterest Chinese New Year board.