My five-year-old resisted several of my attempts at this. It probably seemed too forced or like I was trying to teach him something that wasn't his idea. It's much easier when it is his idea -- or he thinks it is. I love the idea of strewing because it is a way to influence or suggest a path. I will definitely use the idea.
We had some fun with cars and trucks. I wondered why the fire truck had three wheels on one side. Don't vehicles have four wheels? Does that mean it has one wheel on the other side? Of course the kids knew that was silly, but they didn't know that they knew automatically that there were three pairs of wheels and that there were six wheels.
The kids were interested in multiplication today when they wanted to share snacks with each other. First, they got a special treat from a vending machine, so they were already super-happy. One had four cookies and the other had a bag of "fruit" snacks. So, we had to decide how many fruit snacks should be traded for one cookie. We did the math of 2.5 servings in the bag times eight pieces in a serving. (I told them the answer, but I probably could have gotten them more involved.) Then we had to divide the 20 pieces into four groups to figure out how many to trade for a cookie. (We drew a picture.)
When we talk about multiplication, we are usually talking about "groups" of things. How many groups do we have? What is the "total" number? With the fire truck, the kids knew that wheels come in a "pair" and a pair is two.