Boy Mama: Styrofoam and Golf Tees: Working with Letters and Numbers

Styrofoam and Golf Tees: Working with Letters and Numbers

Some styrofoam (big block,) a hammer and some golf tees.  That is all it took and my boys were HOOKED! All my boys have wanted to do lately is hammer. They have been hammering old boxes, tree stumps, the ground, our stone path and even, at times, each other. I needed another hammering outlet so I went this route.

Letter Tees

I grabbed a big styrofoam block that I had laying around, well, actually hidden so the boys wouldn’t use it until I was ready for the mess, a hammer and some golf tees. I was all set to just let them go crazy with the hammers and tees, but then thought, “Hey! Why not add some learning as well?” So I marked a bunch of the tees with letters of the alphabet. I then asked my son to hit the tees with the appropriate letter. I said, “b” and he hit the B tee. I said, “h” and he hit the H tee. We also used the tees to hammer out a few simple words.

Number Tees

The letters worked so well that I created a set of number tees. I haven’t tried them with my son as of yet, but these are the things I am going to try with him:

• Number Identification: I say a number and he hits it.
• Greater Than and Less Than: I say a number and either “greater than” or “less than” and he has to hit an appropriate tee.
• Simple Addition: I say a number and he has to hit two (or three) tees that add up to that number.
• Fact Families: I won’t do this one with my son, but maybe with my first graders– Create a fact family with three tees and then hammer out the 4 math sentences that go with it. Could be loud, but really fun!
Face Tees

I wanted something that I could do with my younger son, but the games described above are too hard for him right now. So I took 3 tees and put a smile and a frown on them.  Then I asked him questions like these:

• Do you like pizza?
• Can you make a basket?
• Do you like to play with dolls?
• Do you like broccoli?

If his answer was yes, he pounded the smile and if it was no, he pounded the frown tee. Later I added the straight face for my older son. I said a word and he hammered the appropriate tee for his answer.

• Chocolate
• Horse
• Swimming
• Brussel Sprouts

You could also use the smile and frown to represent true and false. If the answer is true, hammer the smile tee and if it is false, hammer the frown tee.

• All boys like sports.
• All girls like dolls.
• The desert is always hot.
• Some sea creatures breathe air.
• All dogs bite.

Really the possibilites are endless. I thought this was a really fun activity and so did my boys. It was also great for eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and getting out some of that pent up boy energy!

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