This activity will help children to develop fine motor control by working on hand-eye coordination and will increase their speed and confidence when forming numbers and letters.

#### Materials Required

- Two plates
- Number cards – you’ll find some for downloading and printing here
- One cup of sand (or a dish of pudding mix)

Step | You and your child |

Pour one quarter to one half a cup of sand onto two separate paper plates. | One plate is for your child and one is for you to demonstrate. |

Allow the time to play with the sand before you give them instructions. | Free play lets them explore the materials and get the excitement and natural play instinct out of their system prior to instructions. |

Have your child draw in the sand | Ask your child to draw straight lines. Show your child the number 1 flash card. Tell your child that they have just written the number one. “Yeah”. |

Have your child write other numbers that have meaning to them. | Ask your child to write their age, sibling’s age, best friend’s age, their birthday number, your house number. Children make connections to the world when they are working with real situations. |

To mix up the lesson use chocolate pudding mix instead of sand to write the numbers. Think of it like finger painting. (and, yes, you may lick your fingers but be sure every one washes their hands first!) |

The above activity was created by Diane Massie, a HelpingWithMath.com contributor. It is part of her *Handling Math *program.

**First hand experiences brings mastery of a skill and concept.**