*Sweet Pea is 32 months old.*

**From: **Someone commented on my Milk Cap Letter page and asked for me to make a Milk Cap Number template. I made up the Milk Cap Numbers, but then struggled with how I would use them until I came up with the idea for the worksheets listed below.

**Materials:**

- Several milk caps.
- Mod Podge.
- Basket or bowl for the finished Milk Cap Numbers.
- Milk Cap Numbers (.pdf file requires Foxit or Adobe Acrobat).
- MCN Animals 1-4, MCN Animals 1-4 pg 2, MCN Animals 1-4 pg 3, MCN Animals 1-4 pg 4, and MCN Animals 1-4 pg 5 (.pdf file requires Foxit or Adobe Acrobat).
- MCN Animals 5-10, MCN Animals 5-10 pg 2, MCN Animals 5-10 pg 3 (optional, for those tots that need bigger numbers). (.pdf file requires Foxit or Adobe Acrobat).
- Colored pencils or markers (optional).
- A laminator or press and seal lamination pockets (optional).

**Procedure: **

**Decoupage the numbers to the milk caps.**

- Cut out the numbers you wish to use from the Milk Cap Numbers worksheet. Most of the worksheets only use the numbers 1,2,3 and 4.
- Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the top of one milk cap and set aside.
- Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the back of one of the numbers.
- Stick the number to the top of the milk cap and paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top.
- Repeat for the remaining numbers.
- Let the numbers dry overnight and then put them in a basket.

**Create the Animal Counting Worksheets.**

- Print the worksheets.
- Use the colored pencils to color in the animals on the worksheets if desired.
- Optionally laminate the worksheets and round off the corners with scissors if they are sharp.

**Introduce the Numbers to your Tot**

- Put one of the worksheets on the table and put the 1,2,3 and 4 Milk Cap Numbers next to it.
- Point to the block that contains 1 fish (or whatever animal it is) and say, “This section has 1 fish. I’m going to put the number 1 on the circle next to that 1 fish.” Then pick up the number 1 milk cap number and place it on the appropriate circle.
- Point to the the block that contains 2 dogs (or whatever animal) and say, “This one has 2 dogs. Can you find the number 2 milk cap number to put in the circle.” Give your tot a chance to find the correct number cap, helping if necessary.
- Repeat with the 3 animal block and the 4 animal block.
- Praise your tot for being able to match up all of the numbers.
- Bring out the next worksheet and suggest your tot try it, helping him or her as necessary.

**Observations:** These worksheets worked really well for us. Sweet Pea had a great time counting the different types of animals and I think it really helped her comprehension of numbers.

I am fascinated by toddler’s (lack of) understanding regarding counting. Sweet Pea seems to grasp the numbers 1,2 and 3. However if she is presented with more than 3 objects, she will start over again counting at 1. (For example, if there are 5 objects she might say, “1… 2… 3… 1… 2.” ) We joke about how she counts in base-3.

I tried to take that lack of understanding into account when I worked with her. Since there is only the option for the numbers 1,2,3 and 4 on each page, I limited the number of milk caps available to her to only the first 4 numbers also. This helped make the worksheets somewhat self-correcting. As stated above, Sweet Pea is a little fuzzy on the number 4, so at first I made sure that we went in order from 1 to 4. After we had worked on these a little bit though, she did seem to start catching on to the idea of 4 and I was able to mix it up a bit.

**Notes from the Trenches:** I only had 2 worksheets the first time I introduced this. Sweet Pea finished the first worksheet and asked for another one. I gave her the second one. She finished the second sheet and asked for yet another one. I thought I was being stealthy as I handed her the first one again. She said, “I did this already,” and refused to do it again and that was that. So it may be in your best interest to print all of the worksheets out at once. 🙂

Later I made more worksheets (which are all listed above now) but as I was making them, I realized that I really needed to create cards (instead of static worksheets) that will allow me to shuffle around the numbers. So I ended up making yet another set of worksheets which I will convert to .pdfs and post next time.

**Rating:** 2 Stars * (Fun, Independent after some instruction)

Very cool! What can I use if I don’t have milk caps?

Erika from Confessions of a Homeschooler says that she used wooden disks from Micheals. She has her own templates, which might work better for you if you go that route:

http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/2009/10/bottle-cap-letter-making.html

Thank you for posting a number template for milk caps. I am planning on making the alphabet ones and was wondering what else I could do with the extras. Now I know. I appreciate it!

Tracey

Thanks so much for posting the numbers!!! I made a full set of letters for both my son and my brother’s son for Christmas. It is just at the right time for both of them (ages 30 and 36 months old)! They will love the numbers now too!

Christy,

It makes me so happy that you were able to use my templates!

We use your counting worksheets and love them! Thanks for posting them 🙂

http://canthaveno.blogspot.com/2010/10/weekly-wrap-up.html

I’m happy you were able to use them!

Good idea ! useing a number cap a child can understand and quickly can identifiy the numbers . This is a great idea.If you have any new idea about the play school method please inform us . This may help our childrens. THANK YOU.

My 31-month-old also only counts up to three. After counting the first three objects, he gets to the 4th and just starts counting randomly as high as he can. I just printed these out and hope to give them a try. Great idea!

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see a card with 9 animals on it? I looked at both of the MCN Animals 5-10 files, but didn’t see 9 of anything. ???

Just a question regarding making the milk cap letters and numbers. Do you use regular copy paper or the heavier cardstock paper.

I used regular printer / copier paper.

I love these! But I am wondering if you have a worksheet that has nine animals on it? I don’t see one anywhere. Thanks so much for sharing these.

Micaela,

You are right! I don’t have one. I don’t think I paid much attention to which numbers I put on those worksheets because Sweet Pea wasn’t able to count that high yet. I made a new one for you with a set of 9 animals on it here: http://totschool.shannons.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/MCN-Animals-5-10-pg-3.pdf

You can also put the number of dots for each number on the backside for self correction.

Good idea!

Спасибо за ваши идеи, они очень помогли мне в работе с детьми

[Translation: Thanks for your ideas, they really helped me to work with children]

Love these!! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much!

I love these worksheets and think they are so fun. I was wondering if you had complete sets of animals up to 10?

Hi Sarah,

I’m glad you like my worksheets. I’m sorry to say that I do not have a complete set of 1-10 cards for each animal, but what a good idea. I will consider making something like that in the future.

-Shannon

Hi! I printed these awhile ago and have saved a ton of milk lids in order to make them all at the same time! I’m so excited to finally put these to use! 🙂 My question – I’ve actually never worked with Mod Podge. Would you recommend the gloss or matte for this project or do you think it would not matter? I bought the matte, but noticed your pictures have gloss. I’ve heard different ones can be sticky, but have no idea how this stuff works! Thanks! 😀

I did use gloss and they are a little bit sticky. I’m not sure if the matte would be less sticky, but if I had it to do over again, I think I would spray them with some sort of sealing spray.

Thanks for these! I don’t save milk caps, but will be using large glass beads (from the dollar store – I think they’re considered aquarium or floral beads) and mod podging the letters / numbers to the bottom which can be seen through the clear bead. Thank you again!

What a super idea! I bet that your version will be so beautiful too!

It was so nice of you to share these. Thank you. I am trying to make matching worksheets, could you please tell us what type of font and size

you used to create the abc letters. Thank you

I think the font is Comic Sans MS.

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