This activity addresses several different skills. For kindergarten purposes, it most directly addresses the Common Core objective CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 , Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities;connect counting to cardinality. However, it is also preparation for multiplication, and a fine motor exercise.
To prepare the materials, print off which ever set of numbers is most appropriate to your goals. Links to the printables are at the end of this post.
Cut out the circles with the number that student will be skip counting by, and glue it in the top row of the egg carton.
Cut out the corresponding totals and the key, and store them inside the carton as well.
This is the "skip counting by three" carton as I presented it to my children. We counted pony beads, though any small objec tcould be used. I included tweezers just to make the activity a little more interesting. The totaling tokens are loose in the top of the carton, and the key is intentionally placed upside down.
My daughter worked with this set. To begin, I told her that she needed to put three beads in each of the compartments marked with a three. After she counted out the initial set of three beads, I asked how many she had in total. When she said, "three". I directed her to find the appropriate total number and put it in the space just below the filled compartment. She then counted three beads into the second compartment, figured a total of six, and put the "six" token in the second compartment of the bottom row.
Both children quickly figured out the pattern and went to work diligently putting beads in the top row, and keeping a running total in the bottom row. I am suspicious that my son figured out the pattern, and rather than counting his total, just put the correct token in the space. That would be a good thing because it means that he is grasping the broader concept. When they finished, they were allowed to pick up the key and check their work. I asked them to to name each of the numbers in the total row, to reinforce nomenclature and encourage memorization of the pattern.
I prepared the first four cartons. That should keep us busy for while, especially since repetition is so valuable in developing counting skills.
If you would like to prepare your own egg carton counting activities, here are the free printables of the inserts. I printed these on cardstock, and was happy with the results. You could also print on normal paper, and paste the totaling tokens to cardboard.
Counting by 4's and 5's
Counting by 6's and 7's
Counting by 8's and 9's
Counting by 10's and 11's
Counting by 12's and 13's
If your students are working on these skills right now, you might also be in interested in last week's skip counting activity.