Looking for a fun way to work on counting 1-10 with preschoolers?! Whether you use turtle counters, plastic frogs or something else, these playful counting mats will be a fun part of a pond or spring theme!
There is something about ponds that is so serene and peaceful. My kids have always been drawn to pond life and love watching the frogs jump as they catch baby turtles and run from the dragonflies.
These counting mats are so easy to prepare. You just need to print, laminate and cut them apart. In less than five minutes you can be on your way to counting to 10!
You can use turtle foam stickers like we did or you could use small plastic frogs instead. You could even use small rubber ducks to go along with the nursery rhyme “Five Little Ducks.”
Changing the manipulatives brings new life to an activity even after a child has mastered the skill.
Counting to 10
For a young child who is just being introduced to counting, place a matching number of stickers onto each card. For example, on the “five” card, add five stickers. This will give your child the chance to practice one-to-one correspondence and they will know that when all of the stickers have been covered, that is the correct amount.
Many young children have difficulty understanding that numbers actually relate to a certain amount of objects, so showing them that “five” actually means “5 turtles” is a concrete way of helping them understand an abstract thought.
Children, like anyone, learn through repetition and involvement. Helping them count the turtles one-by-one as they are placed on the cards and then counting the turtles all at once after they are all on the card will give kids multiple opportunities to review number order. It also helps because small children can become easily distracted when they are placing items on the number mats.
Because these counting mats only have numerals written on them, you can use them with any language, making this a great activity for ESL learners or introducing a foreign language.
For more advanced children, you can turn the cards into a game for addition or subtraction. For addition, place a smaller number of counters onto the mat. On the seven mat, you might place 3 pom poms. Then, ask your child how many more they need to make 7.
For subtraction, do the opposite. Add too many counters to the mat and ask your child how many need to be removed to have the correct number.
Any way you use them, these counting mats will be a fun addition to your math time!