Making math glue boxes in preschool

If you have been following me for awhile, then you know that my students collect lots of interesting “math tokens” and bring them to school each week in their math bags.  You can read about our math bags here, here, and here

Over time, we have collected quite a bit of math tokens and we will continue to collect them for the rest of the school year.  Since we have a large assortment of math tokens, we integrated our math tokens into a little bit of art….

Bringing a little math into the process, each child started by counting out five math tokens from the pile of math tokens we have collected…

Each child had their own small white, sturdy gift box (or gift box lid) left over from Christmas to use as their art canvas. The children filled the bottom of their box with a layer of white school glue…

If the bottom wasn’t completely covered with a good layer of glue, the children tilted the box from side to side until the entire bottom of the box was covered in glue. If needed, more glue from the glue bottle was added…

Then the children added their five math tokens to the glue inside the box. This is very much like when we made nature boxes several months ago…

If the children then had extra white space in their math box, they were invited to add additional math tokens to their math boxes…

Once the children filled up all the white space in their box with math tokens, they set the boxes aside to dry…

I am not sure how long it will take for the glue to dry – each math box will probably be a little different as some had more glue in them than others…

I cannot wait to see the math glue boxes when they are all dry. Once they are dry, we will display them for a little ISpy game fun before sending them home…

Links to Grow On…

Check out how Chasing Cheerios is using bags for Color Sorting

Books on Amazon


By |2012-01-14T07:00:33+00:00January 14th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Caz January 14, 2012 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Love this idea, fun and unique as well!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 14, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Thank you Caz:)

  2. Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan January 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Love this one! What a fun I spy game it would make!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 15, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

      I agree, my kids will love that part once the glue gets all dry!!

  3. Teacher Tom January 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Oh Deborah! There’s so much glue in some of those that I wonder what they would be like if you removed the boxes once they were dry. Could be a kind of cool experiment! =)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 15, 2012 at 9:42 am - Reply

      You are so right Tom – but I think because the box is paper, the paper would just be stuck on the box. Perhaps if I used something else to hold, like wax paper, to hold the glue and not the box? I tell you what – it is your turn to give this a try and see what you can do with it….We need a new challenge around here! LOL!

  4. Trisha January 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Neat idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 15, 2012 at 9:41 am - Reply

      Thank you Trisha:)

  5. Leeanne A January 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    I love the I spy aspect of this activity!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 15, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

      It is one of the best parts:)

  6. Lucy W. April 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to try this! When you use the math bags, do you have each child bring the math tokens each week? I have at anytime between 18-20 students. When you ask the parents to send in items, besides asking not to send in food ( good idea!), do you ask the parents to only send in items that they won’t get returned?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 17, 2017 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      Yes, the children (and parents) are encouraged to send junk. Things the children will not mind leaving at school.

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