In preschool and kindergarten as kids learn to count sets of objects and identify numbers we can also begin to focus on different ways to represent the same number. This is one of the elements required for developing number sense. Through a variety of hands-on activities we can show kids how to represent a number with numerals, in word form, on fingers, and with sets of objects. Then we can also show different ways to compose a number. This year we’re sharing a series of counting mats to help make this a hands-on process and help you easily prep your activities. These Gingerbread Counting Numbers Printable Math Mats are terrific to use in December as part of your Christmas theme activities or anytime you explore a gingerbread theme.
FIND EVEN MORE GINGERBREAD THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE PRESCHOOL LESSON PLANS.
Ways to Play with the Gingerbread Counting Numbers Printable Math Mats
As with our spider counting mats there are quite a few options for using these mats. You can pick the approach that best meets your needs and your students’ interests. For a glimpse at some of the ways we use these math mats watch the short video below.
Play with Glass Beads
On the left side of each mat there is a large gingerbread number designed to be used with loose parts. Here we are using our glass beads to show the number two.
Initially with kids I would focus on just representing the number (showing 2 gems). However as kids get more comfortable with that you can extend the activity by showing different ways to make 2. In this example, kids could show 2 red gems, 2 green gems, or 1 red and 1 green gem.
These discussions are great for small group time as kids can see different ways kids choose to compose the number. Remember to make time for sharing and discussing.
After kids show the number using a math manipulative there are smaller gingerbread men and gingerbread houses that represent other ways to show the numbers.
You do not need to use all of the pieces in the beginning. Instead you might use only some of them until kids get used to those pieces. Then add in the additional pieces later.
Play with Pom Poms
You can also use other manipulatives to make sets. Here we are using pom poms. Buttons, mini erasers, gum drops, and other small candies all work well for this part of the activity too.
Remember that you can easily differentiate for kids by choosing which math mats to use. There are free printable counting mats for numbers zero through ten. Use them all and spread out across the table or floor for a center activity, or limit them to a specific set of numbers to help kids hone in on those numbers in particular.
Play with Gingerbread Play Dough
The options above a excellent for small group time or a quick math talk. If you’d like to extend the time the kids are engaged and integrate an additional sensory element, use gingerbread play dough. This option is perfect to set out as a math center.
Be sure to laminate the game mats and pieces or use a dry erase pocket. to protect the mats so you can get more use out of the pieces over time.
Kids can spend time making their own gingerbead men for each of the numbers. As they do they are also getting extra fine motor practice…and having fun!
As with the other options we finish up by matching the smaller pieces to the correct counting mat.
Play with Dry Erase Markers
As an additional extention activity you can have kids work on writing the ways to show the numbers. I personally would do this as a small group activity.
Here kids will pick a piece and then choose a way to show that on their counting mat.
Here is how we show each of the pieces on our mats:
- For the counting fingers, we count on our fingers (or clap/tap on the table)
- For the domino, we show a domino with the same number of dots. Be sure to discuss different ways the dots can be arranged on the dominoes.
- For the number 3, we write the number 3.
- For the word three, we write the word three.
- For the ten frame dots, we show that many manipulatives (glass gems in the example above) on our mats.
Get Your Copy of the Gingerbread Counting Numbers Printable Math Mats
MORE GINGERBREAD FUN WITH PRINTABLE GINGERBREAD THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
The full Gingerbread Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
1) Gingerbread Man Character Puppets (in color and b/w)
2) Gingerbread Color Sorting Mats and Object Cards
3) Gingerbread Man Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching Colors (in color and b/w)
4) Gingerbread Man Gingerbread House Measurement and Size Sorting Cards
5) Gingerbread Man Number Cards (in color and b/w)
6) Gingerbread Man Ten-Frame Mats 1-10 (in color and b/w)
7) Gingerbread Man Pattern Prompt Task Cards
8) Gingerbread Man Rhyming Sort
9) Gingerbread Man Ending Sound Matching Puzzles
10) Gingerbread Man Roll and Graph Game
11) Gingerbread Man Water Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
12) Gingerbread Letter Cookie Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
13) Decorate a Gingerbread House Counting Mats for Numbers 1-10 and one blank version in color and b/w
14) Gingerbread Five Senses Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.