Robot Hugs

The Activities

1. Topic: Big Numbers: Book: How Big is a Million? by Milbourne.

2. Topic: Numbers, Base Ten Blocks: Give each kid a number like: 6, 19, 34. Make that number using Base Ten Blocks to reinforce quantity to each kid. Some kids were ready for much bigger numbers like 2022, or 676.

3. Topic: Programming: A parent volunteer was a robot. The kids got to write programs for the robot, like “Bump the robot into the wall”, or “Walk the robot over to the table”.


The robot wore a purple glove on the left hand and a blue glove on the right.


The robot commands. The turns were colored to match the robot’s gloves.

4. Topic: Measurement: Book: Super Sand Castle Saturday by Murphy.

5. Topic: Measurement: Measure various household objects using Unifix blocks.

One student's measurement chart.

One student’s measurement chart.

How did it go?

I led the younger circle this week, four kids attended.

How Big is a Million?

The kids all liked this book. They had no idea how big a million is.  At the end of this book, there is a huge fold-out poster that shows a million stars.  The kids were all very impressed by how big it was.

Base Ten Numbers

I got out a bunch of unit cubes, 10-bars, and hundred squares. The kids all started playing with the material, for example, laying out out 10 units next to a 10 bar. I asked them how many 10-bars it took to make a 100-square.  My son answered but the others were not sure.  I lined up 10-bars on top of a square until it was filled, and we saw it to 10 10-bars.

I handed out papers with various one digit numbers written on them. 5, 6, 8, and asked the kids to get that many blocks.  They all successfully did this.

Next I gave out two digit numbers like 19, 13, 21.  These were much, much harder for the kids. A couple of the kids do not know what number ’19’ is…they call it ninety-one or one-nine.

Several of the kids do not know how to say ’34’. They say 3-4 or forty-three, instead of thirty-four.  I helped the kids use 10 bars to make their numbers. Next time I should make them count it one by one and then trade in for 10 bars.

My son has a lot practice with numbers, so he was able to make big numbers like 675 and 2022 by himself.  Which was good, because it kept him busy while I worked with the other kids.

Parent Robot Programming

One of the parents volunteered for this.  The parent put a blue glove on their right hand and a purple glove on their left hand.  I showed the kids what each command would do, and then asked the kids to write a program to bump the robot into a wall.

Immediately one of the kids put down 8 ‘straight’ arrows.  We read the program to the robot, and she bumped right into the wall!

Next, the daughter of the robot tipped backward in her chair and fell down. The robot immediately comforted her daughter. After she calmed down a bit, we decided to write a program to walk the robot over to the girl.  We didn’t have a ‘hug’ command, but we let the robot hug her daughter anyway 🙂

The kids all caught on pretty quickly.  Using colored gloves really helped.  The kids could quickly see which turning card to use.

The last program we wrote was to walk the robot around the kitchen island.  This was going pretty well, except my son got tired of the activity and started throwing the cards around.  Also, we ran out of ‘straight’ arrows, so couldn’t make it all the way around.


The last activity was measuring using unifix cubes.  I gave each kid a chart with several named objects. Then we sat around the table and each kid measure how many Unifix cubes long each object was.  After connecting the right number of cubes, they counted the cubes and wrote down the number in their chart.

Each kid measured two or three objects. Then all the kids went over to the coffee table to measure how tall it was.  It was 24.5 cubes tall, so some kids answered 24, and some answered 25.

Finally, we connected together everyone’s stick of 24 cubes. The kids were really excited when they saw the cubes were taller than me.


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