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 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.
Get More Number Identification Printables
Join our community!
I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am 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 range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about 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