Our kids are fascinated by the night sky and are always full of questions. They are familiar with the planets and working on counting skills so I decided to have them practice counting by 5’s using Jupiter’s moons. Since Jupiter has 50 official moons, it is perfect for counting practice.
Jupiter’s Moons: Counting by 5’s
You will need:
- Round corn puff cereal (or anything else you could use as moons such as marbles, glass beads or coins)
- Something to represent Jupiter: We used an orange.
- Post-it notes or paper
Explain that Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Tell them that Jupiter’s moons come in different sizes and there are 50 moons. There are actually more than 50 moons, but 50 of them are officially recognized. First have the children arrange the cereal around ‘Jupiter’ to represent the moons in orbit They can count the moons by 1’s, 5’s and 10’s. Ask them which method is fastest and which is slowest. Write the numbers by 5’s to 50 on the post-it notes and have them arrange the moons in horizontal rows by 5’s or 10’s to coincide with the numbers. Our kids took turns making the rows and it was interesting to see that this task was easier for some and more difficult for others. Using cereal was an added motivator for them to count as they got to eat the moons when we had finished the activity.
A great companion DVD to go along with this activity is Math Adventure to the Moon by Leapfrog. Our kids love it and we used the song from the video to count by 5’s because it is quite catchy and helps them to remember. We also use the Leapfrog Interactive Solar System Discovery Set which uses the Leap Reader pen. Our kids point the pen at the planets on the map and learn about each one. There is also a game where they can race through the solar system. It is a great learning tool and gives kids a head start to learning about the solar system before they learn about it in school.
More SPACE themed activities from the #PLAYfulPreschool Education Team:
Passport to the Planets: A Science Writing Prompt for Kids by Still Playing School