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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Work on early math and fine motor skills with these shape playdough mats. This fun ocean theme kindergarten shape activity is the perfect grab and go math center to help your student master their 2D shape names. Download your fine motor mats now!
How To Teach With Fine Motor Mats
These ocean theme shape playdough mats offer opportunities to teach a wide range of skill with just one quick download. Firstly, they help your students develop their fine motor skills by having them fill each shape with playdough, then press it together to make the correct number of edges and corners. Secondly, they can practice identifying the name of each shape as they make it out of playdough, and the repeated practice will help them retain this knowledge. Finally, there is the option to trace and write the 2D shape names at the bottom of each page. You will have to teach students how to use the fine motor mats (including the all important step of tidying up after they’re done!) before you can use it as an independent center, but once they understand the concept, they’ll be able to work alone.
Preparing Ocean Shape Playdough Mats
For this activity you will need:
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.
This ocean theme kindergarten shape activity is simple to get ready; simply download, print the full set and laminate so that the students can go to town with the playdough without worrying about ruining their fine motor mats.
Extension Kindergarten Shape Activities
Your students should master the 10 shapes quickly, so you’ll want to try some of these extension activities as you wait for the whole class to be ready to move on:
Remove the outline – the first challenge is to remove the outline of the shape, and have students create their best version of the 2D shape from memory. This will give you a good idea as to who has mastered their 2D shape names and has used the fine motor mats to truly learn the correct shape formation.
Name that shape – the reverse activity to the one above is to remove the name and have students tell you the 2D shape names just by looking at the shape playdough mats. You can push this activity even further by sending students on a shape hunt around your classroom, or by playing a competitive game where two students go head to head to name the shape first.
Common properties – part of any kindergarten shape activity has to be focused on the properties of each shape; students should be able to talk about how many sides and corners each shape has, and how to differentiate between a rectangle and a square. You can help them learn these properties by presenting two shape playdough mats side by side and ask them to find similarities between them. This will give you a snapshot as to the mathematical language they use as well as the concepts they have mastered.
More Ocean Themed Centers
This pack of no-prep preschool math mats are designed to be just that – no prep! Simply print the page, setup the other tools you need (pompoms, playdough, etc) and your math center is ready!
There are 10 different games inside that work on a variety of early math skills including counting, one to one correspondence, ten frames, number recognition, number words, graphing, colors, shapes and more! The mats can be used to combine some fine motor development as well and they’re perfect for preschool up to kindergarten!
1.Ten frame mats – use with any counting token to practice one to one correspondence and number sense.
2.Playdough number words – build the word with playdough, then practice tracing it and writing it.
3.Shape mats – form the 10 different shapes with playdough and then practice writing the name of the shape.
4.Spin and graph – graphing of 4 choices from 1-5. 2 different styles of mat included.
5.Counting towers – make a stack of lego blocks, unifix cubes etc according to the number shown. Mats for 1-10 and 11-20 included.
6.Follow the line – trace the lines with small beads, stickers, buttons etc.
7.Roll and count – roll the dice and add that many to the mat.
8.Color sorting – place matching colored pom poms, buttons or beads into each circle.
9.Spin and rainbow write – spin for a number from 1-10 then write out the number. If you land on the same number again, use a different colored marker to end up with rainbow numbers.
10.Find and cover the number – place a pompom over all the matching numbers to work on number recognition skill from 1-10.
Ocean Theme Books For Kindergarten:
Other Summer Printables You’ll Love:
2) Summer Gross Motor Dice – printable dice for getting kids moving outside!
3) Ice Cream Measurement Cards – grab your rulers and learn how to measure length using ice cream cones.
4) Watermelon 4-piece Number Puzzles – works on number recognition, subitizing and counting all at once.
5) Summer Printable Worksheets Pack – 50 pages of mixed worksheets working on various literacy and match activities.
6) Pirate Alphabet Playdough Mats – Literacy and fine motor skills are developed with these colorful playdough letter mats that your students will surely treasure.
7) Count and Compare Fish – In this fun game, kids will count and compare fish in a tank and fish in a bowl to see which has a bigger number and learn how to use the symbols greater than and lesser than correctly.
8) Firefly Counting – This math activity is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and homeschooling or for busy parents looking for something their little one can do independently.
9) Flower Measurement Cards – Kids work on math and measurement in this spring flowers-themed printable.
10) Easy Mondrian Art – My preschooler loved doing this super simple tape and chalk art activity outdoors but if you don’t have a garden, you can download the printable I made for you!
Other Shape Printables You’ll Love:
1) 2D Shape Ice Cream Cones – In this preschool math center, they will do shape matching between the real-life 2d shapes on the scoops and the labeled cones. It’s the perfect summer math printable!
2) Truck Wheel Shape Matching – Your students will love this fun transportation theme math center that you can use any time of the year!
3) Farm Shape Mats – This printable activity will help your child learn shapes and develop fine motor skills. It can be used with playdough, pom poms, dot markers etc.
4) Dinosaur Shapes Roll and Graph –Preschool dinosaur-themed dice game to help with learning shapes and counting to 5.
5) Alligator Shape Bubble Hunt – Spin the wheel to find out which shape to color in!
Educational Tools For Your Classroom:
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