Math Centers 101 Estimation Jar Ideas

101 Estimation Jar Ideas

Estimation jars are a fun and easy way to practice math skills.

I’ve been teaching my son this skill in the grocery store. He’s been using a calculator or a pen and paper and adding up our grocery bill as we walk through the store. I round up to the nearest dollar as I go and have showed him how to do this to estimate our total at the checkout. It got me thinking about how to continue this at home throughout the upcoming school year. I came up with a list of 101 Estimation jar ideas and some printables you can use as a math center, to go along with it.

A focus of this activity is to help my kiddos express their thought process as they estimate the jar’s contents. So, I included some estimation vocab words in the printables and sentence strips so they can write a sentence about how they got to the number they chose. You can grab these printables in my FREE Resource Library by signing up below.  


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I use a large glass jar, but you can use anything you have as long as it’s clear and your kiddos can see the contents, preferably from all angles.

Estimation activities can be as simple as a tic-tac container.  They are clear so their contents are easily visible, and the candy is colorful and fun for them to look at and eat when you’re done estimating the container’s contents!

My list includes some bigger items, like rubber ducks, that I feel will be good for the beginning of the year when we’re still stretching out our “summer” brains.

Using some bigger items will also allow my Kindergartener, who is learning to subitize, to really participate.

I plan to change the jar’s contents out each week and make it part of our weekly math routine. I hope these ideas give you some inspiration for the upcoming year.


101 Ideas for your Estimation Jar

 Math Centers 101 Estimation Jar Ideas      Math Centers 101 Estimation Jar Ideas        Math Centers 101 Estimation Jar Ideas

101 Estimation Jar Ideas. Plus FREE Printables, Guess slips, Estimation Vocab, & Sentence strips.


  1. Rubber Ducks
  2. Marshmallows
  3. Sunflower Seeds
  4. Mini-marshmallows
  5. Pom-poms
  6. Cheerios
  7. Kix
  8. Beads
  9. Paper clips
  10. Legos
  11. Straws
  12. Peanuts
  13. Plastic milk jug lids
  14. Soda tabs
  15. Cotton balls
  16. Clothespins
  17. Spools of thread
  18. Marbles
  19. Pencil Erasers
  20. Safety Pins
  21. Plastic Eggs
  22. Dominoes
  23. Crayons
  24. Mini Candy bars
  25. Hershey Kisses
  26. Gummy Bears
  27. Canning rings
  28. Dice
  29. Counting Bears
  30. Craft Sticks
  31. Scrabble tiles
  32. Old Keys
  33. Buttons
  34. Chess Pieces
  35. Checker Pieces
  36. Toothpicks
  37. Rubber bands
  38. Corks
  39. Bread Tabs or ties
  40. Toilet paper rolls
  41. Hair ties
  42. Barrettes
  43. Toy soldiers
  44. Nerf bullets
  45. Puzzle pieces
  46. Pennies or other coins
  47. Plastic silverware
  48. Matchbox cars
  49. Fridge magnet letters
  50. Foam letters
  51. Pine cones
  52. Poker Chips
  53. Playing cards
  54. Wooden blocks
  55. Bouncy balls
  56. Ping pong balls
  57. Dry beans
  58. Golf balls
  59. Golf tees
  60. Jelly beans
  61. Popcorn
  62. Popcorn kernels
  63. Silk flowers
  64. Markers, pens, or pencils
  65. Shower curtain rings
  66. Socks
  67. Hair curlers
  68. Elbow noodles
  69. Foam peanuts
  70. Gift Wrap Bows
  71. Seashells
  72. Gumdrops
  73. Caramel
  74. Hard Candy
  75. M&M’s
  76. Nuts, bolts, nails
  77. Q-tips
  78. Googly eyes
  79. Swedish Fish
  80. Rice
  81. Bottle Caps
  82. Sugar Cubes
  83. Ketchup Packets
  84. Pretzels
  85. Lollipops
  86. Raisins
  87. Bingo Chips
  88. Gum Balls
  89. Cookies
  90. Biscotti
  91. Tea bags
  92. Hot cocoa packets
  93. Ink Stamps
  94. Lincoln logs
  95. Duplo bricks
  96. Clean sponges
  97. Band-aids
  98. Dollar bills
  99. Clementines
  100. Lemons
  101. Limes

Have fun & Thanks for reading,


101 Estimation Jar Ideas. Plus FREE Printables, Guess slips, Estimation Vocab, & Sentence strips.
Posted in Homeschool, Math Centers and tagged , , , , , .

Hi, I'm Heidi a homeschooling Mama just like you. I'm passionate about simplifying your homeschool days and providing quality resources and support to your homeschool family. We are a full time RVing family roadschooling across the United States, learning through experiences.


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