Here’s a cute little set of free tree play dough number mats for counting to 10! We have loved using these mats to practice our number skills! I love that number mats address so many skills, but it still feels like play for the kids. Decorate the tree with apples, lemons, flowers or whatever thing your child wants to create with her play dough. The possibilities are endless!
Materials needed for the Free Play Dough Number Mats:
Play Dough or Counters
These play dough number mats can be used to represent different stages of a tree as well. You can put ‘flowers’ on the tree like we did. Or you could put apples, peaches, pears, cherries…
Anything you can think of. Let your child’s imagination run wild! Get them excited about numbers and taking ownership of their learning.
To prepare the number mats simply print and laminate.
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Alternatively, you can slide the number mats into page protectors, but they will not be as sturdy to allow multiple uses.
Rolling out the play dough for form the numbers helps develop the fine-motor skills required for writing, in addition to teaching little ones number formation. Have them trace the letters with their finger or a dry erase crayon. Then, have them fill in the ten-frame with play dough balls to represent the same number.
You could also use math counters, unpeeled stickers (like the foam stickers we used below), game pieces from Hi-Ho-Cherry O games or small food toys.
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Extend the activity for older learners and have them use two colors of play dough to create addition problems on the tree and in the ten-frame. 1 apple + 3 apples= 4 apples.
Or fill out two number mats and discuss greater than/less than. A visual model is great for kids who don’t understand yet understand why one number is “greater” than another.
But most importantly, have fun with the play dough number mats!!