What makes counting fun? Hot cocoa and marshmallows, of course! Why not warm up a chilly winter morn with a bit of sweet counting practice! The Free Printable Hot Chocolate Counting Mats for Preschool 1-10 will delight your young learners. And, really, does hot chocolate actually go out of season? Not at my house!

#### Hot Cocoa Number Mat Supplies:

• Laminating Materials
• Mini Marshmallows
• Dry Erase Markers

## Preschool Math Skills

##### BUILDING NUMBER SENSE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

NUMBER SENSE IS THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND AND RELATE NUMBERS. IT INCLUDES A WIDE VARIETY OF MATH SKILLS.

Preschool math lesson plans should include lots of opportunities for children to work with numbers 1-10. Students will gain confidence and automaticity by practicing with oral counting activities, number recognition games, and number formations.

I love to sprinkle math activities into sensory play as much as possible. You could also use the hot cocoa activity for preschool as number playdough mats!

Each hot cocoa counting mat printable gives your students FIVE opportunities to explore each number:

• Children build one-to-one correspondence by placing the appropriate number of marshmallows onto the cup of hot chocolate.
• Then, they can move each marshmallow down to the provided ten frame to see it in an organized way.
• Next, students can trace the large numeral with their finger or a dry erase marker.
• Then, they can see the numeral in word form.
• Finally, children can practice writing the numeral on the dotted lines.

These number mats for preschool learners provide so many opportunities to master each number!

## What Can Preschoolers Learn From Counting Mats 1 to 10?

##### COUNTING with preschoolers

ORAL COUNTING PRACTICE IS GREAT! HOWEVER, KIDS ALSO NEED TO BUILD NUMBERS WITH OBJECTS TO FORM CONCRETE REPRESENTATIONS OF EACH NUMBER.

This hot chocolate activity for preschool gives kids so many opportunities to explore numbers!

• Number identification
• Counting fluency
• Numeral formation
• Number words
• Value of each number compared to ten

## Why Is It Important For Kids To Build Numbers?

Besides the fact that kids love hot chocolate preschool activities, there are many other reasons to introduce numbers in early childhood.

Improve Dexterity: Placing objects onto a counting mat builds fine motor skills that are really important for future pencil grip.

Develop Number Sense: Counting each number on a ten frame helps organize each number. They can notice how each number compares to ten, or begin to recognize when the top row is filled it represents five.

Practice Writing Numbers: Learning how to correctly form written numbers takes a lot of practice. Free playdough number mats are a great way to squeak that in!

Build Counting Fluency: Counting fluency is when children can effortlessly and automatically name numbers in varying sequences: forward, backward, skip counting, etc. Strong counting fluency ensures kids can handle more complex operations like addition, subtraction, comparing numbers, and story problems.

## How To Use The Hot Chocolate Counting Mats

##### COUNTING WITH PRESCHOOLERS

THIS PRINTABLE FOR WINTER IS EASY TO PREP AND VERSATILE TO USE WITH YOUR STUDENTS.

Just print the number playdough mats (free) onto white card stock and laminate them.

Give each child 10 (or maybe a few extra) mini marshmallows or white pom poms.

Keep some dry erase markers handy in case you want your child to trace the number words or numerals.

Children will identify the number on the mat, count the appropriate number of marshmallows onto the cup, then count them again on the ten frame, and finally students can practice tracing and writing each number.

## Other Ways To Use The Number Mats:

### Sequencing Cards

Given all ten mats, challenge students to put the numbers in order 1-10, or even backward from 10-1.

### Homework

Print the pages on regular paper and staple them together to send home for extra practice.

### Get Scientific

Run with a hot chocolate theme by creating hot chocolate slime for your students to play with, or maybe build numerals.

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## Free Printable Winter Counting Puzzles 1-5 and 1-10

Any Season Counting Mats

Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion.

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