Superhero Skip Counting with Paper Bag Books

superhero skip counting

I just recently got introduced to paper bag books and I LOVE them!

Last month my son and I created a pirate paper bag book to teach him about story elements.

This week I decided to take my son’s newest obsession (superheroes) and use them as we create a simple story that taught him about number sentences and skip counting by fives.

Materials Needed:

  • superhero stickers
  • cardstock
  • several paper bags (we used 4-5)
  • stapler
  • markers
  • tape

superhero book collage

Directions for creating a superhero book:

  1. Fold each paper bag in half and then layer them on top of one another in a pile.
  2. Staple the edges together to create a binding.
  3. Grab your markers, cardstock (cut to size), and stickers and create a cover for your book.
  4. Begin writing your superhero number story (or any themed story). Make sure that each page describes a number sentence as part of the story. (see example below)
  5. Write the number sentence after each section of the story is written.
  6. Write the answer to the number sentence on a piece of cardstock and use stickers to portray the answer.
  7. Stick the answer card into the correct little pockets as you complete them to make sure they match the number sentence.

skip counting book Collage

**Please ignore my spelling mistake of writing superheros instead of superheroes! Ugh! This was a great teaching moment, right? It is always good for kids to see that parents can make mistakes too!

Once our book was finished, we read it again and again. My son’s story was a skip counting by five book… so the story started with five superheroes who tried to save the day, but they couldn’t, so five more superheroes arrived. Our first number sentence was 5+5=. Once my son figured out the solution, we created a cardstock sheet with the 10 stickers on it (and the number 10). The story continues with lots of challenges for the superheroes, so five more come to help. 5+5+5=… and so he made a card with 15 stickers on it. The last number sentence was 5+5+5+5= and then we solved the problem and 20 superheroes were able to save the day! Hurray!

One of the main reasons I like creating these homemade books with my son is because they require dedicated time where we need to be alone together without any distractions. My son loves all the attention he gets and I love the time we have to connect together! I’m sure you could do this project with younger siblings running around, but you’ll need to make sure to have some good alternative project options for them. I prefer to do projects like these when my daughter is napping.

One we were done writing our story we practiced sequencing our skip counting cards in order and singing a basic ‘count by 5s’ skip counting chant that I used when I was a teacher. Then we drove through the numbers in order- again and again. It was totally fun! If any of you have good skip counting songs in your repertoire, pass them along! I’m not a huge fan of my chant!

driving through numbers

Lastly, we talked about why skip counting is helpful and chatted briefly about how you could use skip counting by five to help you count nickels. My son is very interested in money, so this was information he was excited about! :)

Do you have any other activities you like to do to teach kids about number sentences and skip counting?

Math is so much more fun when children have hands-on activities.  Here are some more fun ideas for teaching math from the Quirky Mommas:

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About Kristina

Kristina is a mom of two (a preschooler and a toddler) and a former Special Education teacher for children with communication disabilities. She writes about her creative explorations over at Toddler Approved. Her goal is to find ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest.