Empowering Parents To Teach- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue FIsh

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Number Activity


Inspired by the book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish  by Dr. Suess, this fun activity helps your child practice counting and one to one correspondence, all while strengthening his or her fingers opening and closing clothespins. You can also adapt this activity for different learning levels or use the free printable materials any way you want. Details on how to do that can be found at the end of this post.



Fish (page 1 has fish with numbers, page 2 has fish without numbers) print

Bowl or pail

String or yarn


10 Paperclips

10 Clothespins


Set up:

  • Print the fish.
  • Hang a piece of string between two objects.
  • Using the paperclips, attach the fish in order from 1 to 10.


Empowering Parents To TEach- Red Fish Blue Fish One Fish Two Fish


  • Write dots on the clothespins with the number quantities from 1 to 10. Place the clothespins in a pail, bowl or any container you have.





1. Have your child pick a clothespin out of the pail or bowl.

2. Count the number of dots.




3. Find the fish that has the corresponding number.

4. Use the clothespin to grab the fish off of the line.




This is a simple activity with so much learning going on!  Encourage your child to only count each dot once.  If s/he counts too fast, too slow, or skip dots work together with your child to show him or her how to count the dots correctly.


But wait, there’s more!


You can adapt this for different levels or different subjects

Make it easier:

  • Write  numbers on the clothespins and have your child match the numbers.

Make it more advanced:

  • Change the clothespins to addition of subtraction facts.



  • Change the clothespins to tally marks. Match the tally marks to the corresponding number.


  • You can even get rid of the yarn and have your child order the numbers from 1 to 10.

Empowering Parents To TEach- Red Fish Blue Fish One Fish Two Fish


Make it a different subject:

First, print the fish without the numbers. You can make this activity into anything with them!


Foreign language

  • Write the number in a different language on the clothespin–  Spanish, French, Russian, etc.


Empowering Parents To TEach- Red Fish Blue Fish One Fish Two Fish



ABC/Reading (Use the blank fish)

  • Write words on the fish: Match the words to the same word on the clothespin (sight word practice).   Match the word to a rhyming word on the clothespin (phonemic awareness).


  • Write letters on the fish: Match the letters to the same the letter on the clothespin (letter recognition). Match the letters to a word on the clothespins that begins with that letter (phonemic awareness).


Grammar (Use the blank fish)

  • Write words on the fish and label clothespins with the parts of speech. Match the word to its part of speech.


Vocabulary (Use the blank fish)

  • Write a definition on each fish and the vocabulary word on the clothespin. Match the word to its definition.


The possibilities are endless! Share your ideas here or on our Facebook page.


To purchase the book, click here:

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Empowering Parents to Teach- Divisibility Rules Activity

Divisibility Rules Activity

As your child progresses in math, divisibility rules come in very handy. This activity focuses on the divisibility rules for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10. There are rules for more numbers, such as 8, 9, and 11 etc., however, I will focus on the ones previously listed. With these first seven rules learned your child will have a strong start with the most commonly used, and taught, divisibility rules. There are many uses for divisibility rules, such as prime factorization, fraction work, and of course division.


First, print out a divisibility rules chart for your child to use a reference. I created a very simple chart that is small enough to cut out and paste in a math notebook if needed. Show your child how s/he can determine if number is divisible by either 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, or 10 by following the rule for each one listed. I would go through them one at a time, making sure your child understands as you go along.



Materials needed:

Divisibility Rules Chart (click here)

Activity Printout (click here)

3 Dice




  1. Roll 3 dice.
  2. Put the dice together in a line. Use the numbers on the dice to form a three digit number.
  3. Referencing the divisibility rules chart, determine if the number is divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10.  Your child may need your help for the first one to get the hang of it.
  4. Put an X in the box of any divisible factors. For example, 246 is divisible by 2, 3, and 6 so the child should check the boxes for 2, 3, and 6.
  5. Repeat the process with more three digit numbers.


By the end of the activity, your child should become more and more comfortable with the rules and may even have them memorized.


Here’s a picture of my son doing the activity.  As you can see he modified the instructions by using check marks and Xs :)

Empowering Parents to Teach- Divisibility Rules Activity





Try this activity next:


Empowering Parents To Teach: Factor Trees

Click here for the activity



Empowering Parents To Teach: Factor Trees

Do you remember making factor trees when you were younger?  You started with a number and began breaking it into factors until you reached all prime numbers.  The factor tree was a way of finding the prime factorization of a number.


It looked like this:

Empowering Parents To Teach- Factor Trees


I decided to make this idea a little more hands on by making factor trees with leaves and sticks.



  • Printable leaves (click here for the FREE printable in Green or B&W)
  • Sticks (I collected mine from outside and cut them to be roughly the same length)
  • Whiteboard marker or pencil



1. Print out the leaves in color. Or, if you are like me and have a printer that refuses to print color, print the black and white leaves on green cardstock.


2. Laminate the leaves if possible. Your child can write on the leaves with the whiteboard marker and erase when finished, allowing you to use the materials as many times as you want. If you don’t laminate the leaves, your child can simply write on the leaves with pencil, pen, or marker.  Just be sure to print enough leaves, since you can not reuse them if they aren’t laminated.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Factor Trees


3.  Take out one leaf and write a composite (not prime) number on it. For demonstration purposes, I will use 45 as the example number. On the leaf I would write 45 and place the leaf on the working surface (floor, table, or paper) with enough room underneath the number to work down.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Factor Trees


4. Have your child name two factors of the number, excluding one and itself. For example, with 45 your child might say, “9 and 5″ or “3 and 15″.  Choose only one set of factors.


5. Show your child the sticks and tell him or her to place two sticks under the 45 to show that we are splitting the 45 into two factors. In this case, we will use 9 and 5. Next, have your child take two leaves and write the factors on the two leaves. Write one factor per leaf.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Factor Trees


6. Ask your child if any of the numbers that s/he just wrote can be broken down further. Your child should notice that the 9 can be broken down into 3 and 3. Repeat the process of placing sticks and leaves.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Factor Trees


7. Once again, look at the numbers and determine if any of the numbers can be broken down into two factors. In this case, all the numbers are now prime. The process is done.  Depending on your starting number, the process may be longer.


8. Explain to your child that once they have reached only prime factors, they have found the prime factorization of the number.  Have your child list the prime numbers that s/he ended with. In our example, it would be 3,3,5.


9. Show your child how we can write that as 3x3x5.  If your child is comfortable with exponents, show him or her how to write the prime factorization as 32 x5.  Have your child do the multiplication of 3x3x5 to clearly illustrate how the prime factorization is still the same value of 45, it’s just written differently.


10. Continue the procedure with more numbers.  Keep working for as long as your child is interested. Note: If this activity is too challenging, your child may need to review factors, or prime and composite numbers. Click here for an activity to teach prime and composite numbers.


11. If your child keeps a math notebook, have him or her record one of the factor trees in the notebook.  Be sure to write out the prime factorization too. This will serve as a reference and provide practice with writing factor trees in the standard format (as seen above). Another option would be to have your child paste a stick and leaf factor tree into the notebook (substituting the sticks for pencil lines).


Have fun :)


Try these activities:


Empowering Parents To Teach- Divisibility Rules Activity

Click here for the Divisibility Rules Activity



Empowering Parents to Teach- Prime or CompositeClick here for the Prime or Composite Lesson


 Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean TheoremClick here for the Pythagorean Theorem Activity

Empowering Parents to Teach- Liquid Measurement Conversion

Liquid Measurement Conversion Activity

Is your child learning how to convert liquid measurements?  Keep math a hands-on experience with this activity!  It’s so easy for your child to discover the conversions for themselves instead of simply memorizing them.  They will have a much deeper understanding and will most likely remember it because of this concrete experience.  This activity focuses on converting cups, pints, quarts, and gallons.


Step 1:

Locate containers that are exact measurements of:

  • one cup ( a measuring cup works great!)
  • one pint
  • one quart
  • one gallon


Step 2:

Line the containers up from smallest to biggest in terms of volume.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Liquid measurement activity


Step 3:

Predict how many cups are in a pint, pints are in a quart, and quarts in a gallon. Record your predictions on the chart on the free printable provided or you can have your children create his or her own chart.


Click here for the printable activity and chart

Step 4:

One at a time, test your predictions. Record your results on the free printable or homemade chart.


Testing how many cups in a pint:

Empowering Parents to Teach- Liquid measurement activity

Empowering Parents to Teach- Liquid measurement activity


Testing how many pints in a quart:

Empowering Parents to Teach- Liquid measurement activity


What I also love about this is how the child actually feels how heavy the container is when they put the water in it. Children need these hands-on experiences to truly understand what they are learning. “Quart” is just an abstract word if a child just learns conversions solely on paper. This activity takes very little time, but can yield a lot of mathematical understanding.


Happy measuring :)


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem

Pythagorean Theorem

What began as reviewing the area of a triangle with my son, somehow led to a discussion about pythagorean theorem.  He seemed to understand it very well so I designed an activity to strengthen his knowledge and allow him to think about the application of what he learned.  My son happens to love math so he really enjoyed this activity!


 *This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from an Amazon link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Day 1

This is how it started:



Click on the picture to enlarge



You can see the remnants of our pytahgorean theorem discussion on our whiteboard. I essentially introduced him to the formula (later in the day my husband added the proof).  After our talk, we read What’s Your Angle Pythagoras by Julie Ellis together.



Day 2

The activity:

My goal was for my son to practice finding the missing side of a right triangle using the pythagorean theorem.  I wanted it to be fun, not just sitting at a desk filling in a worksheet. I decided to create a big triangle on the floor using building toys that we had readily available.


For the problems, I used pythagorean triples. This made it easier to solve the problems (no decimals!). I found the triples here at mathisfun.com.


I cut index cards in half and wrote one number on each card, using a different color for each triple to help keep track of what numbers went together in case they got mixed up! For example, one triangle has sides 3, 4, 5.  I wrote the 3 on one card, 4 on another, and 5 on another.


The next step is simple! I placed two of three numbers of the triple on the corresponding sides of the triangle. This was approximate, given that I used the same triangle over and over again. It was not to scale! As long as you put the biggest number on the hypotenuse, you’re good.


My son had to solve for the missing number.  For example: for the 3, 4, 5 triangle I put down the 3 and 4 and left the 5 out. He had to solve for the missing side- 5. I made sure to change up which side I left out so he wasn’t always solving the problem the same way. Originally, I wrote out just the first 6 triples, but my son loved doing this and asked for more- twice! He ended up doing a ton of these.



To solve the problems I allowed him to write on our small whiteboard.  I think that played a part in his enjoyment. If he had to solve these on paper, I don’t think he would have liked it as much. He’s pretty good with numbers and likes to solve things mentally as much as possible. Feeling like he “has to” show his work creates a mental block sometimes. I also think the fact that he was free to walk around and work standing up helped him.  There is so much that goes into a lesson. Keep in mind what works for your child. Some kids like sitting down and writing out all the steps. If that’s what they like, go for it!


Here’s what it the activity looks like:

Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem

When he solved for a missing side, I put the number where it belonged.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem

We lined up the triples after he solved them!


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem

Working on the small whiteboard


Empowering Parents to Teach- Pythagorean Theorem

This is how many he did!


After he solved for the missing side, we lined up the triples like a chart.  This allowed him to see a pattern emerging.  The pattern is not consistent all the time, but it gave him a general idea of solving for the hypotenuse when given the other two sides.  It was very interesting when we came across at triple that did not follow the pattern! It reminded him that we have to do the math every time, we can’t count on the pattern.


Day 3

To put this new skill to use, I found some word problems that required knowledge of the pythagorean theorem to solve.  This time I allowed him to use a calculator to solve the problems. The word problems can be found here at mathworksheetland.com.


That was our lesson! I hope your mathematician enjoys it :)