Today, I want to share a Montessori-inspired activity that works well for any U.S. patriotic holiday. If you live in another country, you could use your own country’s flag for the activity. Instead of using numbered red-white-and-blue stars, just add the numerals from a different printable or print numerals on colored sticker dots and attach to the toothpicks.
This activity can be used as a simple practical life activity, or it can include a math activity for children who are ready. It can also be used to help children learn to follow a sequence of steps.
Disclosure: This post contains Montessori Services affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Preparing the Patriotic Practical Life and Math Activity
For this activity I used a large plastic tray from Montessori Services, quick sticks from Montessori Services for transferring the modeling clay balls, some little bowls from Target and the grocery store, flag toothpicks from Dollar Tree, star ice cube tray from Dollar Tree, and non-hardening modeling clay. You could use a sugar tong or another sort of tweezers instead of the quick sticks if you prefer, although the quick sticks are very cool. For the stars, I used the free printable 4th of July pack from Our Country Road. I printed the numerals with a marker, but you could use stick-on numerals if you want your activity to look especially professional.
Variations for Different Ages and Skill Levels
This activity can just have the bowl of modeling-clay balls and toothpick flags for younger preschoolers. The transferring can be done by hand, which still helps with fine-motor coordination. The child can be shown to put a ball in the center of each star and then place a toothpick flag in each ball. If you’re doing the activity with the child, you could count for or with the child, saying a number as each flag is inserted into the clay. When the child is finished, he or she rolls the balls to remove the toothpick holes and returns the balls and flags to their bowls before returning the tray to the shelf.
A child who can identify numerals and count well could put the flags in order and place the correctly numbered star in front of the corresponding flag. When the child is finished with the activity, he or she puts the materials back into the bowls and returns the tray to the shelf.
UPDATE: Quick-Change Patriotic Golf Tee Practical Life and Math Activity
Check out my post on July 1 for a quick-change activity to add interest after a week or two: Patriotic Golf Tee Practical Life and Math Activity.
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