Flower Pot Counters

This project is appropriate for a kindergarten or first grade math class, creating a hands-on learning tool for counting – particularly counting by tens.
By  Craft Marketing Connections, Inc.  

9" tall


  • FloraCraft Make It: Fun Foam Balls, 2”, two
  • Wooden dowel, 3/16” diameter
  • Plastic or clay flowerpot, 2¼”x2½” 
  • Assorted color plastic-coated paper clips, ten
  • Green and white striped paper straw
  • Green paper crimps


  • Washable black fine line felt tip marker
  • Glue gun and sticks
  • White tacky craft glue              

Basic Supplies 

  • Paper plate 
  • Ruler 
  • Small plastic cup

This is an “online only” idea from our 2017 Spring issue. Subscribe today and save off newsstand prices! You’ll get ALL the projects delivered to you in six jam-packed issues per year. 

1. Adhere one foam ball into flowepot. Create starter hole by inserting wooden dowel 1” into the foam ball in flowerpot. Repeat to create a 1” deep starter hole in other foam ball for flower. 

2. Sort paper clips by color. Place two of each of five colors into a plastic cup and set a small handful of paper crimps on top. On a paper plate, set a flowerpot, second ball with starter hole, plastic cup of paper clips and crimps, paper straw and a marker.

3. Demonstrate and have the child insert straw into starter hole in flower foam ball. Have them gently push until they feel the straw stop. Then have them remove the straw, insert a little adhesive into the foam hole and re-insert the straw.  

4. Have the child put their paper crimps on their plate and move the plastic cup of paper clips near the ball on the straw. Demonstrate how to select two of the same color paper clips and insert them into the foam ball top and ball bottom, right in front of the straw.

5. Show them how to put four paper clips of different colors into the right side of the ball, radiating outwards. Have them insert the remaining paper clips into the left side of the ball. Decide if you're going to have them adhere and secure the paperclips. If you want them to be able to count the paper clips by removing them, then don't. If you think that the possibility of loss outweighs that option, then demonstrate and have the child remove the paperclips, one at a time, squeeze a dot of adhesive into the foam, and re-insert the paper clip. 

6. Ask the child to count their flower petals. Then, have them use the black marker to write a 10 on the front of the flowerpot to show the number of petals on the flower

7. Have the child grasp the straw flower close to the bottom of the straw and gently press it straight down into the foam ball in the flowerpot until they feel it stop. Have them remove the straw, squeeze glue into the hole, and replace the straw flower.     

8. Ask the child to apply adhesive to the top of the foam inside their flowerpot. Then show them how to set the paper crimps into the adhesive, without moving them around too much.


• To adhere a foam ball into a flowerpot, first, put the foam ball into the pot to see where the sides of the pot touch the ball. Then, apply glue to that area of the foam ball and return the ball into the pot. Hold it in place for a moment to be sure that it doesn't pop back up.

• If the flowerpot has a hole in the bottom and if the straw goes through it, just put a small piece of masking tape over the hole.

• When the child is inserting their paper clips, you might want to point out that by inserting the "single-loop" end, it allows them to have a "double-loop" petal.

• Note that the different colors of the paper clip petals, allow for counting by 2-s as well.