Cool Math for Kids: 100th Day of School - Edventures with Kids

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Cool Math for Kids: 100th Day of School

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Many kids around the country are celebrating their 100th day of school this month and we are having some math fun along with them!

Teaching kids to count to 100 is a big milestone and one that parents and teachers work on for a few years. 

It's a long journey fraught with numbers like "fifteen-ten" and other assorted creative ways to count.  And along the way, kids are also learning to count by 2's, 5's, 10's and categorize numeric values.

For a number of years, I remember my kids coming home with a note asking that each child in the class bring in "100 of their favorite item" to celebrate the 100th day of school.

100 of their favorite item -- whew!  Now those were some long discussions --

Kid:  "How about 100 stuffed animals Mom?"

Me:  How about we think of something a little smaller?

Kid:  "I want to bring in something that the other kids won't bring."

Me:  Ok, how about crayons?

Kid:  No

Me:  Tatoos?

Kid:  No

And so it went for about 50 more suggestions until we finally came up with a winner! 

And in the process, we also came up with quite a list of possiblities in case you're having trouble thinking of small items for your 100th Day of School celebration.


100th day of school - cool math activities for kids


100th Day of School: Cool Math for Kids

There are some super fun ways to help kids practice all this counting.  One popular idea is to introduce a 100's Jar.  Similar to an estimation jar in many classrooms, a 100's Jar holds one-hundred pieces of the same item. 

If you use plastic bottles or jars, you can introduce a number of math concepts such as volume, size and weight.  So the first part of our list includes lots of items that can be counted, sorted, categorized and compared.

I had some extra canning jars that we used to do some counting and comparison.  Just make sure that the jar or bottle you use is transparent so the kids can see & explore the items inside it.  I've also tried to make life easier for you by including affiliate links to items that may not be well-known or might be hard to find.


100th Day of School: Items to Count

Since items in this group are so similar, they are great to use for counting by 2's, 5's and 10's when they are sorted.

1.  Paperclips

2.  Pencils

3.  Ping pong balls

4.  Cap Erasers (great to revive old pencils)

5.  Pennies (use with other coins to learn how to count money)

6.  Nickels

7.  Dimes

8.  Quarters

9.  Plastic spoons

10.  Binder Clips (good for finger dexterity)

11.  Puzzle pieces (then put together the puzzle) - some of our favorites are the Melissa & Doug 100 Piece Floor Puzzles

12.  Game tokens

13.  Rubber bands


Related:  Marvelous Math Books that Inspire Kids to Count 


100 Items to Use in your Estimation or Counting Jar

Items to Categorize by Color

14.  Guitar picks

15.  Golf balls (they come in white, pink, yellow and orange)

16.  Crayons

17.  Playing cards (sort by color or suit)

18.  Marbles (sort by shade/color)

19.  Plastic eggs (sort by color or size)

20.  Wooden Beads (can also be used for threading)

21.  Assorted Pom Poms

22.  Match box cars

23.  Spools of Thread (these are gorgeous!)

24.  Barbie shoes

25.  Glow Sticks (these are great to wear as bracelets too)

26.  Mini erasers

27.  Socks (just have each child bring in 4 mismatched socks)

28.  Rubber bracelets or rings


Items to Sort & Measure for Height/Length

Grab a ruler and have the kids take measurements while they sort these items.  You can also have them arrange each item from shortest to longest once they are measured.

29.  Barettes (sort by color or length)


31.  Old keys

32.  Golf tees


100th Day of School: Sorting Items by Type

There will be a variety of ways to sort the following items. 

Sort animals by habitat, continent, etc.  Batteries can be sorted by type of size, stickers can be sorted by person/place/thing or have the kids come up with their own groupings.

33.  Backpack clip toys or mini animals like these collection of 100 Assorted Animal Figures

34.  Happy Meal toys

35.  Tattoos

36.  Small Maze Puzzles (by shape or color)

37.  Plastic animal figurines (by animal)

38.  Stickers

39.  Postage stamps (by picture, face value, etc)

40.  Cookie cutters

41.  Trading cards

42.  Shrinky dinks or charms

43.  Batteries

44.  Pieces from board games

Some of our nature items would also fit in this category such as rocks, seashells, pinecones and flowers.  They are all listed below under natural materials.


100th Day of School - Popcorn math activity

Such a fun idea - compare popcorn both unpopped & popped!

Learn more about Popcorn Math & Science with this fun activity


Advanced Math for 100th Day of School:  Teaching Volume/Area

I love this type of item -- things that change the space they take up depending on how they are presented to the kids.  These are pefect for a math/science discussion!

45.  Paper or Plastic Cups (stacked one inside the other and stacked as a pyramid)

46.  100 millileters of a liquid (look at it in a cup and then pour it out on a cookie sheet or pie plate to discuss area)

47.  Balloons (both blown up and flat)

48.  Popcorn kernels (unpopped and popped)


Items to Craft with after you Count

So many fun craft projects can be done with these materials so have the kids count and then craft!

49.  Buttons

50.  Mini play dough containers

51.  Pipe cleaners

52.  Paint Brushes

53.  Popsicle Sticks

54.  Mini Duct Tape

55.  Q-tips (then use them to paint)

56.  Markers

57.  Self-ink Stamps

58.  Plastic beads (make a necklace)

59.  Rainbow loom bands (make a bracelet)

60.  Little Notebooks (use for drawing, tracing or even graphing the 100 items)

61.  Glue sticks 

62.  Cotton balls


Building constellations with toothpicks and marshmallows

If you use mini-marshmallows and toothpicks for your 100's jar, you can then pair them to create constellations for science exploration!  Learn more about Marshmallow Constellations.


100th Day of School Science & Engineering for Kids

Super items to use for counting and then experimenting!

63.  Mentos (count and then use them to make volcanoes or geysers)

64.  Toothpicks (combine with mini-marshmallows to make constellations)

65.  Sugar Cubes (yep, the still sell these at grocery stores and you can use them to build too!)

66.  Legos (then race to see who can stack them the quickest)

67.  Blocks (then see who can construct a bridge or the tallest building)


Related Activity:  Hands-on Math -- Clothespin Geometry 


Have a stacking challenge with any of the next three iems --

68.  Checkers

69.  Poker chips

70.  Dice


Food Items to use for 100th Day of School Snack

A very popular activity is creating a snack mix on the 100th Day so here's a few things the kids might want to eat together --

71.  Pretzels

72.  Marshmallows or mini-marshmallows

73.  Fruit snack packets

74.  Cereal

75.  Dried pasta (this can also be used for a pasta necklace craft or cooked for lunch)

76.  Grains of rice (dry and cooked for science)

77.  Jelly beans

78.  Clementine oranges

79.  Mini boxes of raisins

80.  Hershey Kisses

81.  Candy hearts

82.  Grapes

83.  Tea bags

84.  Baby carrots

85.  Cheese sticks

86.  Goldfish crackers

87.  Oyster crackers

88.  Chocolate chips

89.  Cookies

90.  Tic tacs

91.  Gumballs

92.  Sticks of gum

93.  Baby pickles

And don't forget the popcorn from above too!


Counting to 100 with Seashells


100th Day of School with Natural Items

I would suggest having a Magnifying Glass handy with these items so the kids can explore them further.

94.  Acorns

95.  Pinecones

96.  Leaves

97.  Plant seeds

98.  Rocks (use with shells to compare area)

99.  Sea shells

100.  Flowers (real or plastic)

And I'm going to add a bonus item:  BOOKS!  Can you imagine stacking 100 of your favorite stories??!



Here's a few that would be perfect for this math day celebration:

The Night Before the 100th Day of School -- the students are all thinking hard about what to bring the next day!

100th Day Worries - Jessica want's to bring something AMAZING to school for the 100th day but has a hard time deciding just what that should be.

Rocket's 100th Day of School (Step Into Reading, Step 1) - perfect for beginning readers.

Emily's First 100 Days of School - my daughter and I just LOVED this book!  It's a huge learning resource covering numbers, letters and so many of the things that kids learn during those first few months of school.  A must read (and a longer book that can be shared over a number of story time sessions).


Are you celebrating the 100th Day of School? 

What fun ideas do you have for items to bring?





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  • Guest

    You've compiled a great list of items! I especially love the natural items because then you can have your kids hunt for them outside :) Thanks for participating in our 100 Day Hop!

  • Guest
    Natalie January 24

    Very creative. If we have to bring 100 items this year, I will certainly consult this list, but I suspect it's going to be 100 Rainbow Loom bands :)

  • Guest
    jaime January 24

    Awesome list! i wish I would have had it the other day as I kept wondering what to get out to count with the kids, lol. I see 2 things we used. Off to pin:)

  • Guest

    I love this list of manipulatives! And I love how you categorized them so we can use them in more than one way. Thank you for participating in the 100th day blog hop!

  • Guest
    Tiffany January 30

    Love some the ideas I have tried for child number 4 yet.

  • Guest
    Anna@The Measured Mom February 10

    SUCH a fun post! I shared this as part of my round up today.

  • Guest
    Renae February 24

    These are a lot more delicious than Tens beads aren't they? Great ideas!

  • Guest
    Deborah January 09

    This is such a fun list for 100th day od school activities! I've scheduled this to be shared on my facebook page.

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