Today I want to introduce you to the Learning Resources 100 Ant Picnic Activity Set. This hands-on hundreds chart set features a double-sided 100 board, one side numbered and the other blank for write and wipe purposes. It includes an activity guide with a games and ideas for using the set, and 100 ant counters in two colors.
Our Thoughts: The board is pretty sturdy although with a 3-year-old and 6-year-old and the need to fold it (ahem, correctly!) every time you’re finished, I’ve already had to add tape to ours. No matter, though – it is holding up just fine despite this. If you’ve ever raised little children, you know nothing remains in pristine condition.
Anyway. The ant counters are cute! They are detailed, lightweight, and well-made (of a rubbery-type material). And they’re perfect for lining up on your living room floor for a quick pretend play adventure. Quick, hide the picnic basket!
Overall, what I really appreciate about this activity set is its versatility (which does seem to be a trend for Learning Resources’ products) – it can be used so many different ways to teach math! You can use the counters separately or with the board-game quality hundreds chart mat, and it is large and attractive thanks to the colorful design and ant-shaped counters. It really is more “math play” than school time! Emma even spends time making up her own games on it. Also, it is unique – there isn’t anything like it that I can find online. All of the above makes its $29.99 (or less on Amazon) price tag worth it.
So do I recommend it? Absolutely!
- This one might be obvious, but… practice counting to 100. ;-) To make this a little more challenging, begin with a number like “38” and count up from there!
- Use it as a number line to learn to challenge your child and add and subtract 2-digit numbers! Example: I asked Emma what 25 + 12 was. She puts one ant on the “25” and counts up 12 along the board until she gets to the answer.
- For the blank back of the picnic chart, fill in the missing numbers.
- Ask questions like, “How many numbers are there between 22 and 35?” or “What number is between 55 and 57?”
- Use it to memorize skip counting. Use the different-colored ants to show skip-counting patterns. Example: Below we were practicing skip-counting by 3’s. Every 3rd ant is yellow. (Or don’t put any ants on those numbers so the child can count quickly by 3.)
- Play “Race to 100”. Begin at 1. For the first turn, roll the dice then move to that number. After that, roll the dice and try to predict the number that you will land on. If you guess correctly, you can move one bonus space. First to 100 wins! (We loved this game!)
- Play “Add 10”. The first player picks a number on the board and places an ant on it. The next player adds 10 and places a different colored ant on that number. And so on until they reach 100. (Can also add 5 or 15.)
- Use it to find Even and Odd numbers.
- Use it to count money! (How-to can be found here.)
- Use it to practice fractions. Ask, “What number is 1/2 of 100?” You can also tie in money (“What is half of $1.00?”).
For little ones: Use it to learn to count and reinforce number recognition (call out a number and have the child find it).
Seriously, the possibilities are endless! And there are even more ways to use the 100 Ant Picnic set in the activity guide that comes with it.
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My thanks to Learning Resources for sending me the 100 Ant Picnic Activity Set so I could share my thoughts and experiences with my readers! The opinions I have given are honest and 100% my own.