Play-based learning

Activity Idea – Intro to Math

Activity Idea – Intro to Math

Activity Idea – Intro to Math

By Mr. Andy

Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: A fun and approachable way to introduce young kids to mathematical concepts! A variation for older kids is included below.

Math is everywhere! This activity is a super friendly way to introduce children to the concept of measurement so when they learn about the standard units, they can easily apply their play experience to real world mathematical concepts!

The standard unit of measurement for length in the imperial system is measured in inches, foot, and yards.

Children see things as taller or shorter, bigger or smaller. To introduce measurement using Clixo, pick any one of the Clixo crew and measure something with it. How many Quads tall are you?

Liam (pictured below), is roughly 15 Quads long! Things may not always be exact. For those instances, use smaller Clixo shapes to get as close to a measurement as possible. If we took an exact measurement of Liam, he may be 15 Quads and 1 Tridot!

Just about anything can become a non-standard unit of measure! So, have fun and get creative with it!

The concept of Estimation using Clixo pieces can also be introduced.

The Common Core Standards include estimation skills for every grade level. It’s important to introduce children to terms that include such words and phrases as about, close, just about, a little more (or less) than, and between. Learning about estimation is important for kids because it enables kids to:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

You can start simply by asking your child “How many Quads do you think will equal the length of your arm?” If they aren’t sure of what to say, the adult can think out loud and model it. This is a great exercise for kids and could also be a fun game for kids.

The concept of Estimation using Clixo pieces can also be introduced.

A Variation for Older Kids:

– Allow older kids to think and calculate in Clixo Measurements.
– Give them the challenge of measuring each Clixo piece in inches
– Ask them to estimate how many connected Quads would equal a foot? a yard?
(Note: this does not have to be exact, 4 connected quads is about 1 ft)

After figuring out how to convert Clixo Measurements to standard units of measurements, we can now have some mathematical fun!

Challenge your Clixo Mathematician with the questions below!

– The average Giraffe height is 17 feet.
– The average Oak Tree height is 70 feet.
– The average train car length is 55 feet.
How many Clixo Quad pieces would a Giraffe, Oak Tree, and Train Car be?

Helpful Information for Parents

Children engaged in play will often exhibit specific behavioral schemas that are consistent across children all over the world during play. One of the first thing you may see your child do with Clixo is taking the similar pieces such as the Quads and connect them together in a long straight line. This may be seen in other toys when they line up their cars or blocks one after the other in a straight line. 

The behavioral schemas that may be witnessed during the initial exploration of Clixo falls under the trajectory schema. The concept they are developing through play would be linear progression, sequences, etc.

For the younger children, this activity is an introduction to non-standard units of measurements that will help develop their understanding of measurements in a stress free, fun, and authentic way. When they do learn the standard units, they will have a familiarity of measurements. For older children, they’ll be using Clixo to further develop mathematical thinking by converting measurement units.

About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his DonorsChoose projects.


Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂

 Click here for other Clixo x Mr. Andy activities.

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