Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Math


  • Small box with a lid
  • Small piece of fabric
  • Markers, paint, or stickers (for decorating the box)
  • Pairs of small objects of varying textures: keys, small blocks, balls, plastic vehicles, links, plastic spoons, cotton balls, sponge shapes, feathers
  • Small paper bag



  • Sensory awareness
  • Language



Find a box large enough to hold one of each of the suggested objects and cut a hole on the top or side of the box large enough for a child's arm to fit through. Cover the hole with a flap of fabric so that children will not be able to see inside the box.



Show children the "feely box" and explain that they will use it to play a hands-only hide-and-seek game. Next, offer them some art materials and invite them to decorate the box. Explain that you will place a variety of objects in the box and a set of matching objects in a paper bag. Place enough items in the box so that each child can find an object.

Invite each child to close her eyes and choose an object from the paper bag. Ask her to keep her eyes closed and describe the object she chose. Is it hard or soft, smooth or rough? Does it have corners or ridges?

Next, invite her to place her hands inside the box to find the matching object. Set the pair of objects aside and invite the next child to take her turn. Once all of the pairs of objects are found, invite children to group objects that are similar. Encourage children to describe the characteristics that cause them to group certain objects together.

Remember: Keep in mind that some children may need extra time as they draw an object from the box. When only the sense of touch is involved, children who are not tactilely oriented may need more time to make their choices.



Home Geometry: Send home three sheets of drawing paper with the following captions: Rectangle, Square, and Circle. Ask parents to help their children find an item that matches each shape and draw a picture of the item on the appropriate paper. Invite children to share and compare their work.


Tracing Shapes: Provide children with paper, fine-line markers, and crayons. Place the hide-and-seek objects on the table and invite children to trace them on a sheet of paper. Suggest that children use the art materials to color or decorate the shapes. Gather children together so that all can share their creations.



My First Jumbo Book of Shapes by Melanie Gerth (Scholastic)

My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle (Penguin Putnam)

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban (HarperTrophy)