We have a paperback book titled Math Fables with short, rhyming stories for each number, 1-10. A group of animals does something (5 raccoons knock over garbage cans, 10 beavers build a dam) and the stories show how different combinations of numbers add up to a total. Kids learn that 3+2=5, but so does 4+1. It’s math with more than just numbers which is a win for us.
Inspired by the book, we set up our own math fables with toy dinosaurs. I read a fable out loud from the book. Hunter listened for the number, and then divided the dinosaurs according to what the story said. I wrote each number is the sum on the small chalkboards as a reminder and to tie in number recognition. After the dinos were in place, Hunter read the sum outloud. We went through all the variations for each number, but only got through four rounds before moving on to the next thing. The hands-on aspect kept us engaged and we will probably try it again.