There are few ways to motivate kids to do schoolwork that work better than candy. These free fall counting mats that I have for you today can be used with candy for a fun way to explore counting, one-to-one correspondence, addition and whatever else you can think of. Keep reading to see what we did with them at get your free copy.
We had so much fun with our play dough tree number mats last month, that I thought it would be fun to use the same set-up with a fun fall theme.
These would be great to use with all the yummy fall candies that seem to multiply in homes this time of year. We don’t do Halloween, but we still love the candy. (Especially from the clearance sales afterward!)
We used play dough with the last set and we actually did with this set as well during another play session, but to change it up a bit I used the fall colors from a package of M & Ms®.
It’s quite possible that I ate the other colors…. I did share. *wink*
Jaida counted out the M & Ms® and placed them in the candy jar. Then, she filled in the ten-frames to create the number on the mat. We talked a bit about how many candies it took to fill one ten-frame to help her recognize that teen numbers are 10 + another number. She already understands place value to the hundreds place, but phrasing it as addition is a bit of a different concept. Since we are working on addition this year, I wanted to get her thinking about that.
I had her spell the words out loud and she traced the numbers with her finger. You could also use a dry-erase marker or crayons if you laminate the mats. When we used the play dough we rolled out the dough and shaped the numbers with play dough ‘snakes’. That is particularly good if you want to work on fine-motor skills. Picking up little candies is also good for working on the pincer grasp.
I have to say, I think her favorite part was eating the candies after she was finished, but she did enjoy working with the candies too.