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THE NUMBER FOUR
 

FOUR ART
CUTTING FOUR SQUARES                    
Give each of your children a 6-inch square cut out of plain paper.
Show the children how to fold their squares in half and then in half again.
Have them open up their papers and cut along the fold lines to make four squares.
Let your children glue their four squares to the four corners of a sheet of construction paper.
Have them count the squares and the corners.
  

CRAFT STICK FRAMES

Give each child four craft sticks and some glue.
Show them how to glue two horizontal sticks on top of two vertical sticks.
When the sticks are dry, let your children decorate their frames by coloring them with marking pens or by gluing on sequins, small felt cut outs or poms.
These frames make wonderful gifts.
 
SQUARE ART
Set out a number of square pieces of paper in different sizes and textures.
Give each child a large sheet of square paper and some glue.
Have children make a collage or picture using the square shapes.

 
CHERRY PIES 
Give each child an 8” tan circle shape with markings dividing it into four pieces.
Set out some red paint on a folded towel, or use a red stamp pad.
Have children make four red finger prints on each section of their pie.
Variation:  Older children can continue this activity by cutting their pies into four pieces and then gluing them onto a colorful paper plate.
 
FOUR CORNER PLACEMATS

Give each child a large (9 x 12) piece of construction paper.
Set out some paper cut outs and some glue.
Instruct children to only decorate the four corners of their paper.
Have them count out the paper cut outs to use on their placemat.
Then, glue on the cutouts.
Variation: Use placemats as is or cover each placemat with clear Contac paper.

 
PAPER KITES
Give each child a paper kite shape cut from a large piece of construction paper.
Set out marking pens for children to decorate their kites.
Next, set out some paper bows, some 11” yarn sections and some glue.
Have children glue a tail onto the bottom of their kites.
Then, count out four bows and glue them onto their kite tale.
Display the kites on the wall.
 

FOUR GAMES
 

STICK PUZZLES
For each puzzle, you will need four large craft sticks.
Place the craft sticks on a table, side by side.
Tape the sticks together and turn them over.
Use markers to draw a simple picture across all four craft sticks.
Remove the tape and mix up the craft sticks.
Let your children take turns arranging the sticks back into a picture.
Variation:  You can also glue a picture across four craft sticks, then when dry, cut the four sticks apart with a sharp knife.
 
FOUR PIECE PUZZLES
Draw or glue pictures on large index cards.
Then cut the pictures into four pieces.
Place the pieces in small zip-lock bags.
Have available for your children to take out and put together whenever they want.
Variation:  You can also use paper plates to make four piece puzzles.
 
CLOTHESPIN MATCH UPS
Set out one or more 8” square pieces of colored poster board.
Set out a basket of snap-on clothespins.
Show your child how to place a clothespin on each corner of the squares.
Variation:  You can also use this activity to teach colors by using white poster board and then coloring each corner a different color.  Color the sides of the clothespins to match the colors of the corners and have children match up clothespins to corners.
 
FISHING FOR FOURS.
Make a simple fishing game with a stick, some yarn and a horseshoe magnet.
Cut out paper fish shapes and write different numerals on the fish.  Make about 12 fish and have three with the number 4 on them.
Place paper clips over the mouths of each fish and lay the fish on the floor.
Let your children take turns fishing for fish with the number 4 on them.
Variation:  For younger children who may not recognize the numeral 4, you could just have them fish until they catch four fish.
 
BIRTHDAY PARTY FOURS

Bring in a box of party supplies and place it in your home area or by a small table.
In the box have, four party plates, four cups, four play cupcakes, four napkins, four party hats.
Encourage children to help set up the table for a birthday party, and invite three other children to join them.
 
LEG COUNT
Go on a leg safari.
Have your child (or children) count the number of legs on tables and chairs in your room.
 
FOUR LANGUAGE
 

FOUR LITTLE FLOWERS
Let your children act out the following counting rhyme.  Choose four children to be flowers growing in the garden.

            No little flowers
            Growing in the sun.
            Up popped one –
                (One child holds up a flower.)
            Now there is one.

            One little flower
            Bright and new.
            Up popped another –
            Now there are two.
                (Two children hold up flowers.)

            Two little flowers
            Growing by a tree.
            Up popped another –
                (Three children hold up flowers.)
            Now there are three.

            Three little flowers
            Growing more and more.
            Up popped another –
                (Four children hold up flowers.)
            Now there are four.
                                    Gayle Bittinger
                                    © Warren Publishing

You can make flower masks for the four children by cutting the centers out of four paper plates, then decorating the edges with tissue paper petals or marking pen colors.  To complete each mask, tape or glue a large craft stick to the back for a handle.


 
SEQUENCE CARD STORIES
Simple four card sequence cards are perfect for teaching story sequence as well as the number four.
On four cards (index cards work great) draw four stages of a short story or rhyme.
Encourage children to tell the story or rhyme by holding up the cards in their proper order.
 
WRITING FOURS
 
TEACHING RHYME
Here is a simple rhyme for helping your children to remember how to write the numeral four.
            Down and over
            Then down some more
            That’s the way
            To make a four.
                         Author Unknown
 
SALT WRITING

Take  a small box lid and cover the inside bottom with salt.
Show your child how to use their finger to write in the box.
Let your child practice making the numeral four in the salt.
 
AD NUMERALS
Lay out the grocery store ad section from your newspaper.
Give your child a black pen or crayon.
Have him circle any 4’s that he sees.
 
FOUR SCIENCE/DISCOVERY
 
FOUR SEASONS
Learning about the four seasons is a natural when stressing the number four.  Here is a fun activity about changing seasons and an apple tree.
Give your children two paper plates, one white and one green, folded in half.
Have them cut the two plates in half.
Then have them decorate each plate half to resemble an apple tree in the four seasons.
For Fall -have them use a green plate half and glue on red paper apples (or red poms) for apples.
For Winter - have them draw brown branches on a white plate half. Paint on white snow.
For Spring, have the children color a white plate half light green and glue on small white flowers.
For Summer, have the children leave the last green plate half as is to represent leaves.
When all of the tree tops are complete, give each child four clean toilet tissue tubes with small slits cut down from the top opposite each other.
Have children place their four tree tops into the tubes, creating four apple trees in four different seasons.
 
PLANT AND ANIMAL SEQUENCE CARDS

Make up sequence cards for the four stages in the life of a frog.
An egg
A Tadpole
Tadpole with two legs, two arms and a tail.
Frog
Make up sequence cards for the four stages in the growth of a pumpkin.
Seed planted in the ground.
Pumpkin plant sprouting up out of ground.
Pumpkin vine growing across the top of the ground, with a large yellow flower.
Large orange pumpkin growing on the vine.
 
FOUR SNACKS
 
FOUR ANTS ON A LOG
Let your children make this snack.
Give each child a plate with 2-4 celery sticks, some peanut butter and raisins.
Let your children use table knives to fill their celery sticks with peanut butter.
Then have them count out raisins and place four “ants” on each of their logs.

SQUARE SANDWICHES
Have children cut a slice of bread into fourths.
Next, have them each cut a slice of cheese and a slice of ham into four squares.
Finally, have children make four open-faced, ham and cheese sandwich squares for snack.
Variation:  Instead of bread, let children choose four square crackers for their snack.
 
SNACK PACKS
Make up snack bags for your children with four of several items.
Such as; 4 cheese-its, four pretzels, four crackers, four cheese cubes, four grapes, four orange sections, 4 baby marshmallows, fish crackers, etc.
 
FOUR SONGS & RHYMES
  
MY GRANDPA

Tune:  “This Old Man”

My Grandpa, he knocked four
Times upon my front door.
With a knick, knack, knock, knock,
He gave my dog a bone.
Then Grandpa, went back home.
                                    Jean Warren

(Let children take turns being Grandpa with a bone, who knocks four times at the door.)
 

FIRECRACKERS
Firecrackers, firecrackers,
Light them at the top.
One, two, three, four      (Have children hold up four fingers)
Whiz, bang, pop!            (Clap hands on the word “pop”)
             

 
FOUR LITTLE KERNELS

Tune:  “The Mulberry Bush”          

Four little kernels jumped in the pot,
In the pot, in the pot.
Four little kernels jumped in the pot,
Then lay in the oil ‘til they got hot.               

Four little kernels started to pop,
Started to pop, started to pop.
Four little kernels started to pop,
Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!
                                    Jean Warren

(Choose four children to be kernels of corn, jumping in, laying in oil and then popping up at the end of the song.)
 

FOUR RED APPLES
Tune:  “This Old Man”

Four red apples, on the tree,
Two for you and two for me.
Let’s shake the tree and watch them fall.
One, two, three, four – that is all.
                           Jean Warren, Adapted Traditional