Don’t feed the raccoon! You can see how hungry he is with his mouth gaping open and his greedy little hands ready to grab, but you don’t want to feed the raccoon! This is a fun, simple, and very fast paced preschool number identification game I created to help my preschoolers learn their teen numbers, but gives number identification practice in numbers 0-20. My kids ask me to play with them all the time. Your little ones are bound to enjoy it too.
Number identification can be difficult to teach to children in meaningful ways. Simply matching the numeral and the quantity is not enough. Which is why this game is so loved by my preschoolers.
Don’t Feed the Raccoon Number Identification Game
While I made this game out of a pasta box and some simple number cards, I am now offering a fully printable version at the end of this post. It’s way cuter, and honestly, a better game.
- empty pasta box, preferably Barilla brand because of the cutout the box already has
- white and black paint
- white dot stickers
- fish counters, or other math counter
- Don’t Feed The Raccoon! game card printable (print two copies for each game)
Begin my painting the pasta box to look like a raccoon. Mix the white and black paint to get the shade a gray you like, (mix a lot, as it will take at least two coats to cover the printing on the box) and paint the entire box gray. Allow to dry. Repeat. Dry. And…repeat again if necessary. I just might take three coats, depending on the kind of paint you use. I used acrylic.
With a pencil, lightly sketch out the raccoon features. If you’re a bit of a perfectionist, then do it on paper first and make yourself a template. I just drew straight on the box. Paint those features black, and don’t forget the tail! Allow to dry.
Place the white dot stickers on the mask of the raccoon. These will be the eyes. Color in pupils. And, now you have a super cute raccoon made from a pasta box!
Next, print out the Don’t Feed The Raccoon! game card printable, laminate for durability and cut out. Do make two sets of the cards. You’ll need them. Notice the cards have the numbers 11-20 printed twice. That was a purposeful decision. My purpose in creating the game was to help my preschoolers learn their teen numbers, so the printable has them twice to reflect the extra practice.
Invite players to sit in a circle around a table or on the floor. Place the raccoon in the center of the circle. Give each player ten fish counters.
The Object Of The Game
The object of the game is to collect as many number cards as possible. The player with the most number cards at the end of the game wins. The game ends when the first player runs out of fish counters.
How To Play
Each player takes turns drawing a card, which is face down, and identifying the number on it. (To keep the game moving quickly, it is helpful to have an adult hold the draw pile and offer it to players when it is their turn). The player gets to keep the card…
Now…let me explain something…I hate it when preschoolers are learning new material or reviewing difficult material and are penalized when they do not immediately know the answer. I think it causes them to feel discouraged, and their self-confidence could take a serious hit. So, in this game, the player gets to keep the number card whether or not they identify the number correctly. If the player does not know the number, I will give him hints and then tell him. Throughout the game, I will ask the struggling students to identify a number card already in their personal pile, in addition to the one they most recently drew. This way, they get a bit of extra practice, but they are not penalized by being set up to automatically lose the game.
But, if a “Feed the Raccoon” card is drawn, the player has to identify the number on that card (numerals 1, 2, or 3) and then feed the raccoon that quantity of fish counters. It is especially fun if the raccoon “comes to life” when he is being fed. Once a player runs out of fish counters, the game is over.
But…your kiddies will want to play again…and again…and again.
Get Your Printable Here
Think your preschoolers would love this game? I do. 😉 You can download them right here from my blog store.
Also, this game pairs beautifully with my Preschool Counting Bundle or my Preschool Math Lesson Plans Bundle.
These activities can be downloaded from my blog store or from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
Get More Number Identification Printables
The fully printable version of this game is also included in my number identification math pack. Check out this post for more information.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
This looks like a super fun game! but what is a fish counter?
Sarah Punkoney says
You can use any small fish shaped toy. I like the set of fish counters from Learning Resources. It is the same set I used in my ocean themed sensory bin. You can get the specific link in this post. https://stayathomeeducator.com/ten-ocean-themed-preschool-activities/
I just wanted to thank you for posting this awesome game! I am a middle school Spanish teacher, and I was looking for something to do to help my 6th graders learn their Spanish numbers. This game was perfect! I used some fake Euro coins as my tokens, and just modified the game cards to say “Feed the Raccoon” in Spanish. I also have a few students with severe learning disabilities, and even they were able to play by identifying the numbers in English and doing their best with the Spanish. Everyone had fun “feeding the raccoon” (even though it’s not such a good thing!) And I keep thinking of more ways I could use it even with my upper grade levels for vocabulary recognition and production, sentence formation, etc. There are so many possibilities and I am excited to try out new expansions soon.
A few adaptations I made to the way I made my game: For the box I used a small Amazon Prime box and wrapped it with gray butcher block paper. I cut out a hole for the mouth and drew on the rest as you did. I used some good clear packaging tape in small strips to adhere the paper to the mouth on the outside and inside, that way it won’t rip when the kids put their tokens in. I felt like using the paper (if you have access to it) is probably faster than painting the many coats you talked about (although probably also easier to rip or mess up). I know I’ve seen a normal cardboard colored butcher block paper at the dollar store, and I think brown would give the same effect as gray. I didn’t have enough time to make five boxes though, which I knew I needed to make small enough groups for a class of 28. I didn’t have the boxes but I really wanted to try the game! Necessity is the mother of invention – I printed off a full-page picture of a raccoon with its mouth open and put it in a white binder with a clear pocket on the front. The kids just stood the binders upright and put the coins in the top slot. I almost like this method more because the five boxes would take up a lot of space in my classroom, and the binders already stack up quite nicely.
So again, thank you so much for posting this great idea!! It worked out wonderfully – all of my students were engaged the whole time!! I’m glad I found you on Pinterest!!!
Sarah Punkoney says
Thank you so much for commenting and telling me about how you used this idea in your classroom! I love hearing from my readers! Your solution to the bulky boxes is genius! And you’re right, this game can be modified a number of ways. I’d love to hear more about how you use it in your classroom!
I’m teaching Japanese preschoolers. They find a bit difficult to recognise teen numbers so I was wondering if there was a game to have them recognise them. I found your game. I also have a game to feed a penguin, Which is really helpful. I’d like to play your game but, honestly I still don’t understand how to play it. Could you explain me what are the printable numbers, for what are the fishing counters, and why do they have to draw
Sarah Punkoney, MAT says
The basics of the game is that each preschooler is given ten fish. They draw cards, identify the number and then discard. But if they draw a Feed the Raccoon card, they have to feed the raccoon a fish. The game ends when a preschooler feeds all his fish to the raccoon.