Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland, paperback picture book, first published by Ragged Bear Publishing Ltd. in 1997, this edition published by Picture Corgi in 2014.
This is a cute count-down book perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. It uses simple language and large text, making it easy for young children to follow the words. The illustrations are bright and colourful. The story is funny, it rhymes, and most importantly there are dinosaurs!
My toddlers have been asking me to read Ten Terrible Dinosaurs a lot lately. They like to make roaring sounds throughout as they pretend to be the dinosaurs in the story. The repetition of the numbers has been helping them to learn the numbers, and we like to count the dinosaurs together. Knowing that the number will rhyme with the previous line has encouraged them to try to predict the next number. They also laugh every time we get to the dinosaur whose silly trick goes wrong, and when one of the dinosaurs gets stuck in a tree!
I wrote numbers in the inside base of twelve muffin cases (numbers 1 to 12), and placed the muffin cases into our muffin trays. Then I asked A to place the correct number of pom poms into each muffin case. She used some big plastic tweezers and some scoop tweezers to pick up the pom poms and transfer them to the muffin cases.
The muffin cases numbered and set out.
The plastic tweezers.
For each muffin case I would ask A how many she needed to put in, and she would read the number out loud. She counted each pom pom as she went, and then re-counted them at the end to make sure she had them all right. As she went, I asked her to do some basic subtraction and addition to work out how many pom poms she had to get to reach the right number.
Scooping up some pom poms.
A liked practicing her numbers and it was fun using the tweezers. Some of the little pom poms were hard to pick up, and this was a good chance for her to practice her fine motor skills.
Placing a pom pom into the muffin case.
Using the tweezers to grab a pom pom.
During a recent trip to Bunnings I picked up some paint sample cards. Once we’d chosen the colours we wanted, it seemed a bit wasteful to toss the cards out, so we made a matching and memory game with them.
Ordering the numbers.
Each card had three shades of colour on it, so we separated each card into three. I wrote the words zero to ten on these cards, and L wrote the numbers 0 to 10 on more of the cards. We spread all these cards out on the floor, and A matched the numerals to the words. This was a great activity for learning to associate the numeral form with the word form of these numbers.
A placed the numbers in numerical order, and then matched the words to them.
Playing memory with the number cards.
We set the cards out right side down in a grid to play memory. The kids took turns turning over two cards at a time trying to make matches of the numbers to their names. We really enjoy playing memory, and we have several sets of picture memory cards that we often play with. Memory is a simple game for improving concentration, logic and memory and it helps kids learn about taking turns.
Matching ‘friends of ten’.
L used the cards to match the ‘friends of ten’. These are two numbers that add together to give ten, such as 4 and 6, 3 and 7, 10 and 0, etc. Knowing the ‘friends of ten’ is important for quick calculations and improving maths confidence.
We had enough paint colour cards left over to make a shapes version too, with the shape names on some of the cards, and the matching shapes drawn (imperfectly by me) on others. A named all of the shapes for me, and then I helped her match the words to the shapes. She was less familiar with the shape name words, so this was a harder task than matching the numbers to their names.
Putting holes into paper with a hole-punch is almost as much fun as cutting paper into tiny pieces with the scissors… At least according to A. Both are good for her fine motor skills and coordination. Both have the potential for a huge amount of mess, which is very appealing to her , yet not quite so appealing for me! Using the hole-punch makes less mess as long as she doesn’t open the part where the little punched out circles collect… And we can use it for a simple counting activity.
We used a single hole-punch as it is easier for A to use. I cut up some paper and wrote numbers on each piece, then asked her to punch that amount of holes into the paper. Initially I left the sections together, but quickly realised she would need the sections separated to make it easier to punch the holes around the edges of the paper. So I cut the paper into separate pieces for each number. She really liked doing this activity. She carefully counted each hole to make sure she got the right number on each section of paper.
Once A had finished with the hole-punch, L used it to make lots of holes in a piece of scrap paper, just because it is fun 🙂