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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
There’s a reason why so many preschool classrooms choose crayons as their theme for the start of the school year. It’s fun to have a school supplies theme to introduce your students to the idea of a formal classroom after their daycare experiences, and crayons are bright and cheerful to make your room feel welcoming and exciting. There are also lots of crayon themed fun hands-on math activities, and with these crayon fine motor number mats you’ll have multiple opportunities for your students to practice counting and correct number formation.
Teaching Number Sense To Preschoolers
One of the biggest challenges facing all preschool teachers is to introduce the idea of number sense to their students. Most preschoolers will come in to the classroom knowing the names of most of the numbers up to 10, but they are unlikely to be able to demonstrate one to one correspondence or have a concept of the magnitude of each number in relation to each other. This is where fun hands-on math activities like these crayon fine motor number mats are an essential tool at the start of the year to teach your students the relationship between the number words and the values that they represent.
Preparing Crayon Fine Motor Number Mats
For this activity you will need:
Optional: laminator, tweezers and pom poms
If you don’t have the materials needed, don’t sweat! You can get it delivered to your doorstep really quickly with Amazon Prime. You can get a 30-day free trial here.
These 1-10 number word playdough mats give you three fine motor activities for one simple download! Simply pick the number that you’re working on that week and print a class set. While you can shrink each page to get 2 to a page, your students will find it easier if you keep each sheet full size so there is more room to work with their playdough.
Teaching Activities For 1-10 Number Word Playdough Mats
These fine motor number mats will quickly become a firm favorite in your math center rotations during your crayon theme because they are so versatile. For one simple download, you get the following teaching activities:
One to one counting – the main use of these mats is to help your students to master their one to one correspondence. To get some fine motor practice, give students a bowl of small pom poms or eraser caps that match the necessary colors for the page that they’re working on. They can then use tweezers or their pincer grip to place the items in the correct square, saying the counting words out loud as they do so. They can also form little balls of playdough and use those for counting instead.
Number formation – once they’ve mastered the counting aspect of the fine motor number mats, you can then have them work on their number formation. While you can laminate the 1-10 number word playdough mats and have students practice writing the number with a dry erase marker, you can also give them a small tub of playdough and have them roll it out into the correct number shape.
Letter formation – finally, these fun hands-on math activities also give your students the opportunity to practice their letter formation within each word. As above, you can either have them practice their penmanship or use playdough to continue their fine motor development.
More Themed Centers Perfect for Back to School:
My Back to School Themed Centers is a variety pack of 10 games focused on early literacy, math and fine motor skills.
These are the games included:
1) Number Practice Mats – practice tracing the numbers 1-10 or form them from playdough, count out the objects and build a tower with the corresponding number of blocks.
2) Marker Measurement – use for standard or non-standard measurement; recording sheet provided for your students to write their answers.
3) School Supplies Addition to 10 – use the picture of the pencil case and school supplies to write out and solve the addition equation.
4) School Supplies Arrange By Size – 30 picture sets to arrange by length or size
5) Count and Tally Puzzles – 3 piece puzzles where students will match up the numbers 1-10 with the correct tally mark representation and count the number of objects.
6) Alphabet Writing Strips – laminate and use dry erase markers to practice capital letter handwriting.
7) Backpack Books Sorting – ask your students to sort the uppercase letters from the lowercase letters and place them into the correct backpacks.
8) School Alphabet Order – students will look at a series of 4 letters written on the board, decide if they are in the correct alphabetical sequence, and choose and thumbs up or down response.
9) School Bus Beginning Sound – match up the beginning lowercase letter to the object that starts with that alphabet sound.
10) School Supplies Syllable Count – students will need to clap out the number of syllables for each labeled picture and write the number in the box or build a tower with the corresponding number of blocks.
Fun Books About Counting 1-10 That Rhyme:
Other Back to School Printables You’ll Love:
2) School Supplies Count and Write – Preschool and kindergarten kids will practice one to one correspondence and writing number words from 1 to 10 by counting adorable school supplies.
3) School Mazes – 3 different back to school mazes for fine motor practice
4) Lunchbox Notes –Kids will love them and remember fond memories of their time in school when you send them off every morning with these.
5) Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – Use this printable treasure hunt as a fun literacy game in your classroom or as a hands-on activity to encourage reading for your homeschooling kids.
Fine Motor Tools For Your Classroom:
Browse My Most Popular Math Printables:
1) Parking Cars Tracing Lines – More than 10 different tracing line patterns to choose from, all of which help with pencil control.
2) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – 3 different scarecrow-themed image sets that they will arrange from smallest to biggest.
3) Bumblebee Addition Game – Solve the sum and help the bee land on the correct flower!
4) Farm Shapes Mats – Use playdough, pompoms, stickers etc to learn 2D shapes.
5) Popsicle Stick Number Formation – Kids will love forming the numbers 1 to 10 when ice cream and popsicles are involved!
8) Counting Colorful Bugs – This printable book will help kids count to 10 while also learning about color words.
9) Humpty Dumpty Numbers – In this printable game, your students will practice number recognition using 1 dice or simple addition when using 2 dice.
10) Build A Number Santa – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus
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