Preschool Math Activities and a Tortoise Shell

Preschool Math on a Tortoise Shell - Mud Hut Mama

Since we’ve been having so much fun studying terrapins and tortoises, I thought I would try to incorporate that into another aspect of our homeschool. I decided to have the girls make turtle shells while doing some preschool math activities. The shell is made out of two pieces of cardboard cut from an old cereal box. We also used construction paper, scissors, a glue stick, a marker, a hole punch and some yarn.

Materials for Math Turtle Shell Craft-Mud Hut Mama

We used the front of the shell to practice number recognition. For Kooks I wrote the numbers 1-10 on strips of paper and for Boo 11-20. The girls used their number cards to help figure out where the numbers would go on their shell. The numbers that didn’t fit on the front of the shell were cut into smaller pieces and went in the center of the back of the shell.

Number Recognition-Turtle Shell Craft-Mud Hut Mama

I drew two circles on the back of the shell and started a pattern in each circle for the girls to complete. I adjusted it to their age level by having Boo complete a pattern of three different shapes and Kooks complete a pattern of just two alternating shapes.

Completing Patterns-Turtle Shell Craft-Mud Hut Mama

They seemed to really enjoy the activities and once everything was pasted into place I attached the two shell plates together like a sandwich board and girls got to play turtle. I braided the yarn to make the shoulder straps stronger but a thick ribbon would probably have worked better.

Preschool Math-Turtle Shell Craft-Mud Hut Mama

Here the Littles are reenacting the YouTube video we watched about one tortoise helping another who had fallen on his back and couldn’t right himself.

Playing Tortoise-Mud Hut Mama

We thoroughly enjoyed our tortoise math lesson and the fact that we have added tortoise shells to our dress up box.

How do you recycle your cereal boxes?

For the Kids Fridays at

About Jody Tilbury

17 Responses to “Preschool Math Activities and a Tortoise Shell”

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  1. What a cute learning craft! We like to turn our cereal boxes into little houses.

  2. Frances says:

    Your girls are adorable!!!! I watched the video, and then looked at the girls pictures again…. they are too cute! What a great way to use old cereal boxes, and you can reuse it for the dress up box! Genius!!!

  3. Addison says:

    Wow, Jody – I’m getting lots of ideas from you for the future 🙂

  4. Really great idea Jody! So cute!

  5. Heather says:

    You really have the best ideas!
    I recycle like mad. All my plastic, tin, paper and card go to big bins by the grocery store before I fill up on food again.

  6. Julia says:

    Can you please, please post a video of Kooks and Boo reenacting the video!??? I bet it was funny and heartwarming – the picture certainly looks it, but a video would be even better. You are one creative lady, and I will be stealing loads from you once my little mushroom gets here!

  7. Judy says:

    How clever…we just had a tortoise story time at the library and I was surprised at how much my 3 year old has talked about tortoises since, so we’ll have to do this one 🙂

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      I hope you have as much fun with it as we did. For my little one we broke it up into two sessions to accommodate her shorter attention span.

  8. MsXpat says:

    What an awesome activity! Its wonderful to be able to incorporate fun with learning :0)

  9. Penny says:

    OMG! That is the most adorable thing I’ve seen this week. Sooooo cute and education too. So going to share this all over the place. Jode, is it okay to upload a pic to Facebook (my reader seem to share direct images so much more). Of course I will link to here and to your FB page

  10. I LOVE this idea!! I can’t believe I didn’t come up with it while my oldest was in her turtle-craze. What a neat way to add all sorts of educational stuff in to their interests.

  11. I love the deliberate learning activities you give your girls. You make them seem easy to do and the girls have so much fun they don’t even realize all the skills they’re gaining–perfect!

    We use cereal boxes for all kinds of stuff–to make paper characters stand up, game boards, cards to decorate, lace-up cards…loads of fun in those boxes!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      These are some great ideas Lynda – I especially like using them as stands for paper characters. We’ll have to try that.

  12. The Monko says:

    Such a brilliant idea, i love that they are wearing the shells. My son loves turtles and tortoises at the moment so he’d really enjoy a simplified version on this (he’s only three).