It is time for some math fun with this engaging math tree sensory puzzle! Made from a recycled cardboard box this is a low-cost recycled craft project that is tailored to the level that your child is working on. We used homemade playdough with our math trees however you can use any sensory puzzle resources such as colored rice, dried lentils, or even beads. Full instructions are below along with a free printable, Math Tree Questions sheet that you can print out and write out the math questions that your child is currently working on.
Math Tree Sensory Puzzle
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This is a super fun way to get children having fun with math! Our girls are 7 and 9 and are working on different learning maths skills so two of these math tree sensory puzzles were made. They sat down next to each other and both worked through their own math puzzles. For some of the trickier subtraction equations, Miss 7 made some playdough balls to help her solve the problem. Both girls really enjoyed completing their Math Tree Sensory Puzzles, fantastic to hear from Miss 9 as times tables are not exactly her favorite thing to do!
We have provided a Math Tree Questions printable sheet that you can print and write out the full math equations. This is helpful for older children who can do this activity without help to check that they have got the correct answer. It is also great to have a reference sheet that kids can look over for help with the answers they are yet to learn.
- An old cardboard box
- Toilet paper roll/ cardboard tubes
- Scissors and a craft knife can be helpful
- Hot Glue
- Sharpie or similar pen
- Green Playdough & Brown Playdough or other sensory puzzle materials such as rice
- The Math Tree Question printable below, or make your own!
Let’s Get Creating
Start by gathering all of the materials needed.
Cut off one of the sides of the box. This will be the base of your Math Tree Puzzle. Next cut some long thin strips of cardboard from the box. These strips of cardboard will be used to go around the trunk of the tree and should be between 1-2cm wide as long as possible. Cut the strips as straight as possible but don’t worry too much! Next, cut the toilet paper roll tube into strips. These will be the leaves on the tree. To cut the toilet roll tubes, slightly flatten and cut with scissors. These should be roughly 1cm wide.
On the cardboard base, draw on a tree trunk using a pencil. Make sure that there are no open edges. Keep in mind that you will be using cardboard strips and hot glue to go around this line and this will be filled in with playdough so don’t make the trunk or branches too narrow. When you are happy with the trunk outline it is time to start gluing.
Heat up the hot glue gun. Go over the pencil trunk with the hot glue gun doing small sections at a time. Once you are happy with the placement of the cardboard strip, glue and stick the next part of the trunk. Once at the end of the cardboard strip start with a new cardboard strip ensuring that the strips are placed close together so there is no gap. Continue until the entire trunk has a cardboard stip border.
Place on the cardboard tube leaves and then once happy with the placement glue in place.
Print out the Math Tree Question printable and decided on some suitable math questions. Have a combination of easy-to-solve questions, ones they can work out, and a couple that they might need to use the reference sheet to find the answer or that they really have to think about to solve. Write out the questions and answers on the Math Tree Question printable sheet. Inside of each cardboard tube leaf write the equation without the answer.
It’s Math Time
Have the Math Tree Sensory Puzzle out along with the math question printable and playdough or other sensory material.
Start by having fun using the brown playdough to fill in the math tree trunk. Next, have a look at the math equations and pick one to answer. Answer the question and then check it off on the math question printable. Once solved fill in the leaf with green playdough. Continue to answer all of the math questions.
Remember it is ok if your child struggles to answer some of the equations and needs to look at the answer printable as this is still helping to learn these problems. You could highlight these really ticky ones that need to be worked on further. Perhaps cut them out and stick them around your home.
For simple problems and children starting out with addition and subtraction, you can use extra playdough to make balls to help solve the equations.
Other Fun Activities
- Narwhal Color & Math Worksheets
- Newspaper/ Magazine Shape Penguins
- Clover Sensory Sight Words
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Thanks for stopping by. We hope you enjoyed this Math Tree Sensory Puzzle today!