Today I am once again sharing with you our love of play dough! If you have not been here before, you should be warned we love play dough for learning! These free cookie play dough mats are no exception!
If you have not used the previous versions of the play dough number mats, let me start at the beginning. (You can get the apple trees 1-10 here in Spanish here, and the fall versions 1-10 here and 11-20 here. All for free.)
To prepare the Cookie Play Dough Mats:
- Download the mats below.
- Laminate for durability or insert into a sturdy page protector.
- Choose your favorite play dough.
- Select two kinds of buttons. (Optional for practicing addition)
To use the Cookie Play Dough Mats:
Have your child form the numbers with the play dough by ‘tracing’ the bubble numbers on the right side.
Show the number in the ten-frame by forming play dough balls and filling the correct number of squares.
Spell the number words aloud, to practice memorizing them.
Trace the number words and numerals with their fingers.
Have your child make the correct number of cookies on the plate.
Not only are your kids working on their numbers in a very concrete and hands-on way, they are also getting some great sensory input from the different textures of play dough that you use (think oatmeal play dough for ‘oatmeal cookies’). This also works on fine-motor skills with the forming of the different pieces of play dough and if you choose to add toppings to your cookies, it can also work specifically on the pincer grasp. All of these are things that young child need to work on and many special needs children need extra practice with.
To extend the activity:
Using the play dough and two kinds of buttons have your child show you as many ways to create the number using addition problems as they can on the ten-frame and on the plate like we did with our Christmas tree mats here. With the number 10 they can show you 9+1, 8+2, 7+3, etc.
Because they don’t have the addition problems written in front of them, this will rely on their knowledge of addition and the addition facts. It’s a great way to get them to practice those facts, without even realizing that they are ‘working’.