One of my favorite children’s stories is Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh. A snake is searching for and catching cute little mice. The mice are smart little critters and learn that with teamwork they can escape a dangerous situation. It is a fun way to connect literacy and math.
Sound scary??? The author/illustrator has created a significant border around each illustration to help keep Mr. Snake contained in the story.
Read the story, then have your own mouse count!
Items to create a Mouse Count:
large pompoms (these are your mice), a plastic container, and tongs.
wiggle eyes, yarn and glue gun or elmers glue to put eyes and tails on your mice.
If I’m working with really young kids I don’t decorate the mice because they tend to pick the eyes and tails off. We just use our imagination. It is okay to keep it simple!
How to have a Mouse Count:
1. Read the story to your child, then go on a mouse hunt! Hide the ‘mice’ and have your child hunt for them, pick them up with the tongs, and put them in the container.
2. Encourage your child to count the mice as he finds them or she can count them after they have all been caught.
3. Using the tongs to pick up the mice adds a fine motor component related to scissor skills, plus it seems just a little more ‘snakey’ 🙂
4. You can also talk about the color of your cute little mice.
5. You can discuss how the mice worked together to thwart the pesky snake.
Have fun reading, hunting, and counting together!