Teacher Mama: Bottle Cap Math

I have been saving bottle tops from the milk lately. I didn’t know why until the other day when it hit  me– another great way to practice math skills! So, I took out my beloved Sharpie (How much do you love Sharpies???) and numbered them 0-10. I also labeled a few with a +, x, – and = sign.  Then I set to work. How many different math skills could be practiced with these tops? Well, here we go!

Note: We did these activities on a white board so we could write the answers, draw columns etc and not waste paper. Plus, kids love writing on the whiteboard- at least mine does!

Scatter and Order: Lay out or scatter all the caps number side up.  Have your child put them in order from 0-10.  Try from 10-0 as well.

Blind Scatter and Sort: Turn all the bottle caps number side down, have your child flip one number at at a time and put them in order from 0-10 and 10-0

What’s The Number?  Turn all the caps number side up in order from 0-10 then turn a few face down. Have your child determine which caps are turned over.

Addition: Turn all the caps number side down. Arrange the + and = signs as pictured below.  Have your child choose two caps to create an addition problem (also called a number sentence) then add the numbers and say or write the answer.

Addition Strings: Follow the directions for the Addition game, but use 3 or more numbers in the number sentence.

Subtraction: Same as addition, but use the – and = signs. Be sure your child remembers to put the bigger number first in the number sentence or you will be dealing with negative numbers. If you have an older child- try this with negatives numbers. It is a great challenge!

Multiplication: Same as above, but multiply. Try the number strings as well with multiplication.

Sorting Numbers:  Make two columns and sort the caps into the appropriate columns. Some sorting suggestions are odd/even and greater than a #/less than a #. For younger children, a sort might be curvy numbers/straight numbers or numbers I know/those I don’t.

Complete the Pattern: Create a pattern with a missing number and see if your child can figure out what the number is.

What’s Missing: Arrange the numbers in 0-10 order and remove a few caps.  Have your child determine which numbers are missing.

Place Value and Big Numbers: Use the bottle caps to create and read numbers with more than 2 digits.  Talk about which number is in the ones, tens, hundreds etc place and what the value of each number is as well.

There are many other ways to practice math skills with the bottle caps, but these are just a few to get  you started. Enjoy!

Coming Soon- Bottle Cap Alphabet Activities….

© Boy Mama Teacher Mama 2012

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17 thoughts on “Teacher Mama: Bottle Cap Math

  1. Pingback: Locos por los tapones II - Aprendiendo matemáticas

  2. WOW, I stumbled onto this site while looking for Earth day activities for my kindergarten class.
    Great idea, will definitely follow this in the classroom. Thank you so much for the detailed pictures.

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  11. Hello! I’ve written a round up of bottle top play and learning ideas and have included this awesome post. I hope that you don’t mind me using one picture and your link. If you’d like me to take it out of the post just give me a shout 🙂 The post will be live on Monday 11 February. Keep up the fabulous work 🙂

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