Monday, August 16

Mermaid Math: Counting, Colors, and Patterns

Earlier this year, I wrote about the children's book The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam by Kirk Kirkpatrick... a book about a mermaid and her fish friend who work together to solve a problem and come up with a fun solution for it.  This mermaid math activity was inspired by The Mermaid and the Grumpy Old Clam and can be used to teach a variety of math skills:

🍎 counting verbally
🍎 identifying colors
🍎 identifying and creating patterns
🍎 understanding one-to-one correspondence
🍎 discovering basic concepts of addition and subtracting
🍎 and more

You can use this mermaid activity while working with students one-on-one, in a math center, as a busy bag, or when students finish their work early.  Keep reading to learn more about this mermaid math activity and for three simple ways you can use it with your students!

Students in preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten can practice their math skills with Mermaid Math activity. Counting, colors, patterning, etc.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.



This mermaid tail activity is easy to set up, colorful, and adaptable to meet a variety of learning objectives.  Very few materials are needed and can be purchased inexpensively at a dollar store.

Materials needed for Mermaid Math: felt, pom poms, and glue

You will need:


Practicing counting and colors with Mermaid Math

Choose one color from the pile of pompoms. What color did you choose? How many do you have on the mermaid tail?


The directions are REALLY simple:
  • Lay the blue felt on a flat surface. This will represent water.
  • Place the mermaid tail on the blue felt.
  • Decorate the mermaid tail with the pompoms. These pompoms represent scales on the tail.
  • Use the pom poms to practice the specific math skills you want to reinforce.

Practicing patterning and colors with Mermaid Math

Create a pattern with the pompoms. What pattern did you create?

Optional: If you'd like, you can glue some or all of the pieces together in this activity. You can also leave everything unglued. If you leave everything unglued, your students will be able to do this activity over and over, making new tails each time. This would be ideal if you wanted to make centers for your classroom, busy bags for quiet time, or kits for fine motor reinforcement, etc. Gluing everything together, however, would make for a really nice tactile bulletin board. There are a lot of different ways to do this activity. Have fun and have at it!

Practicing patterning, counting, and colors with Mermaid Math

Count how many pompoms can fit on the mermaid tail. How many red? White? Pink? Purple? Blue?

Little Mermaid

How else can you use this mermaid math activity with your students?  What other math skills can you reinforce with it?  Share your ideas in the comments below!

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