Tennis ball puzzler

Solving the Tennis Ball Puzzler is the beginning of one-to-one correspondence, an early math concept.
This is also a puzzle that calls for eye-hand coordination.

WHAT YOU NEED: 7 tennis balls and a 6-cup muffin tin

What to do:

Place the muffin tin on the floor or a table. Hand your child the tennis balls, one at a time, and ask her to put them into the muffin cups. Repeat until all 6 tennis balls are placed in a muffin cup.

  1. Now ask her to dump the balls out and do it again.
  2. Repeat the game several times, each time talking about what she is doing.

But wait!

What to do??

  1. After she has dumped out all six balls hand her the 7th ball.
  2. Again encourage her to put one into each cup. (Now that there are 7 tennis balls, one will be left over.)
  3. Observe how she solves the problem of the extra ball.
  4. If she gets frustrated and doesn’t understand why there is a problem, count the balls together. “Let’s count the muffin cups. 1-2-3-4-5-6. Now let’s count the balls. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. Well, no wonder! There are too many tennis balls!”

 

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