You need bottle tops, minimum 11, for dots from 0 to 10. I made 2 sets as it is more comfortable to make additions later on. (The caps are from Nestea and Cappy bottles)
The truth is I had a little helper who picked and tested all the bottle tops. This is optional, of course.
I used a black permanent marker to make the body of the bugs plus the dots. On the black tops I used white paint to make the dots visible. If you don't use black bottle tops you can skip this step.
To make them more bug-like and more fun-looking I glued googly eyes on them:
The first time I presented it to E. she wasn't very interested. She opened the envelope quite reluctantly. (This should have been the time to put it away and come back to it at another time. But we gave it a try.)
She was looking at the bugs and started to put them in order but when she reached the six-dotted bug she began to imitate a fight with the bugs.
Then she knuckled them from the table claiming the ladybirds wanted to fly away. I asked her if she wanted to have a look at the mats. She didn't so I packed a month of work away and tried to swallow my frustration.
Then we gave it another try. I didn't even mention ordering the bugs, I rather showed her the mats. She showed more interest than before. As she is perfectly familiar with the numbers, counting the dots made her uneasy a little bit.
But we managed to do 4 of the mats, ...
...then she made a task for me:
The second addition was really tricky as we don't have a bug with 14 don't on them. I asked E. what we should do. And she helped me out in a really smart way:
I thought this activity would be much more fun, and E. would be fascinated by the bugs and counting... well... I was a little wrong. Nevertheless, we did have some fun and I'm sure someone might enjoy it even more than we did.
Download your FREE counting mats from here:
If you try it with your children let me know how it went.