Array Rainbow Pom Poms ➖Subtraction Sensory Bin | Montessori From The Heart

Here is a fun and colorful sensory bin you can set up as a part of St Patrick’s Day inspired activities. I am using this serving tray, but you can use any deep dish or a tray to contain your sensory play.

As a filler, I am using white dried rice as a base, and rainbow pom poms as counters. (I went with the white base to give pom poms a color pop.) I also added some Shamrock confetti (which I also used to tape the equations to.)

Littles ones (age 1 yo+) would enjoy running bare hands through rice and touching colorful glitter pom poms while stimulating the tactile and visual senses – there is no need to introduce numeracy. For children age 2-3, you can introduce simple numeral to quantity association by including in the bin written numbers one through ten. To make this activity enticing for a preschooler, however, I am turning this simple sensory play tray into a subtraction practice game. So, I placed exactly ten rainbow pom poms in a tray and wrote simple subtraction word problems within 10 to be solved: e.i. 10 – 1= , 10 – 2= , 10 – 3= etc. So, the child will pick a problem and ‘take away’ – remove from the tray, the “subtrahend” number of pom poms, leaving in the tray the “difference.” After having solved the problem, the child would return all the pom poms back into the tray, so that you always have ten pom poms to start with. For transferring, while your child can use hand’s pincer grip, I like to offer tongues for transferring pom-poms to further excerices fine motor control and dexterity.

minuend – subtrahend = difference

TIP: You would introduce subtraction to a child who has a strong understanding of the addition work. If your child is still working on addition, you can write simple addition problems like 2 +1 = , 2+3 = , etc.

You can see this activity on Instagram here.

P.S. Always supervise your children while they are exploring through play, Xoxo

For more fun and hands-on St Patrick’s Day inspired activities, see here St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Unit Study.