Missing Number Math Games

Over the weekend, we were at a restaurant and my daughter was playing some game where she needed to know the number that came before and the number that came after. My husband was working with her on it, but it became clear that she was confused about what before meant when counting numbers. We explained it to her and for the rest of the game she was sort of hit or miss about the concept, so I thought I would do a little practice with her at home the next day. I wanted quick and easy so I reached for some old milk caps that we had been saving and from that the Missing Number Math Games were born.  
Missing number games using milk bottle caps for practicing numbers 1-20 and 1-30.  Love this for preschool or kindergarten.


With the milk caps in hand, I used a permanent marker and wrote the numbers 1-30 on the top of the caps. I figured once we were done with this activity, we could use these caps for counting, addition, subtraction and more. First, I gave my daughter all of the caps and told her to put them in number order. She did pretty well with this, but the teens still trick her sometimes.  Once she got to the 20s, I had her line them up underneath the teens, hoping that she would see the pattern in the numbers.  I don't know that she really understood.  I think what helped her the most was going back a number or two and saying the numbers until she remembered what came next.  
Missing number games using milk bottle caps for practicing numbers 1-20 and 1-30.  Love this for preschool or kindergarten.
 After we went through all the numbers, I put 1-20 in one of the tile squares on the floor.  In the square underneath, I put a few numbers but left one out.  She had to look at the numbers and figure out what was missing.  She would find the missing cap and put it in the correct place.  Sometimes it was what comes before this number, sometimes it was what comes after this number and sometimes it was a number that was in the middle that was missing.
Missing number games using milk bottle caps for practicing numbers 1-20 and 1-30.  Love this for preschool or kindergarten.
We started with the single digit numbers and then worked on the teen numbers briefly before she started to get burned out. This will definitely be an activity that we can pull out and use over and over again and even throw in the diaper bag and pull out while we are waiting at restaurants.
Missing number games using milk bottle caps for practicing numbers 1-20 and 1-30.  Love this for preschool or kindergarten.
I love this activity because it was simple, but worked on a much needed skill. Another reason I love it is that it cost us nothing (except for all that money in milk which I don't even want to think about) and could be used in so many different ways.

How would you use these milk cap numbers?

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