“Oh the weather outside is frightful”. Is it getting cold where you live? While it does tend to get cold here in Virginia, we rarely have snow. So on the frightfully partially frozen days my favorite, fun way to warm up is a hot cup of cocoa. Often times you can find us sitting together, enjoying our hot cocoa (my kids with ice cubes), warming up. Holding the warm mug between your hands, melting the cold off of your fingers, it’s pure wonderful isn’t it? 

What cup of hot cocoa is complete without marshmallows, though? According to my boys, it’s not even an option. Marshmallows are a key staple in hot cocoa and they are the key to these super cute Marshmallow Counting Cards for Numbers 1-10!

– Life Over C's These free printable marshmallow counting cards for numbers 1-10 are perfect for starting one-on-one correspondence this Christmas!

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for Marshmallow Counting Cards:

  • Paper
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Marshmallows

Why Do We Teach Preschooler’s To Count?

It may seem kind of silly to ask, but really, why do we teach young children to count? Is preschool math really that difficult? When children are learning to count, they are learning about the meaning of numbers. They are counting to better understand the world around them and the relationships numbers have. How many friends do we have to give snack to? How many birthday candles should I put on my cake?

Counting Vs. Rote counting

Teaching pre-k early math skills and counting doesn’t have to be confusing. Let’s first figure out the difference between counting and rote counting. Regular counting is matching a number name to an amount that was counted. Rote counting is being able to recite numbers in order from memory.

How Do You Practice Rote Counting With Preschoolers?

  1. Use songs and rhymes to practice rote counting. For example: “1,2,3,4,5…once I caught a fish alive. 6,7,8,9,10…then I let it go again.”

2. Have students count actions such as 10 jumping jacks or 5 sit ups.

3. Playing counting games like hide and see can help strengthen rote counting skills.

– Life Over C's hot cocoa marshmallow counting cards

What Is One-to-One Correspondence?

One-to-one correspondence is counting objects and matching them with a visual number. This can be done by counting aloud and touching each object or placing one object down. Not only are children practicing math concepts, but this also helps with fine motor skills.

How Do You Practice One-to-One Correspondence?

  1. Try this fun activity Marshmallow Counting Mats to practice using ten frames.

2. Include real life examples like counting apples for lunch time, setting plates out for dinner, or giving the same amount of Legos out to friends. “Count the number of dots on the dominoes.”

3. Let children use an ice cube tray and small toys or pom poms to create a visual and hands on ten frame.

How To Use The Marshmallow Preschool Counting Activity:

These counting cards are fantastic for early learners and teaching preschoolers who need visual assistance to help count. Even if a child can count to ten independently, these printable cards will help reiterate the numbers and sequence in their minds. Fabulous if you ask me! And the best part is I can usually find a bag of mini marshmallows for around $1. This is a very inexpensive activity!

Materials needed:

  • Paper or cardstock
  • Color printer
  • Laminating sheets/ laminator
  • Marshmallows

To prep: Print and laminate the marshmallow counting cards (download below).

To use: Have your child cover the pictures of the marshmallows on the counting cards with the correct number of mini marshmallows.

These cards are perfect for new learners and toddlers who are not ready for independent counting. The kids simply cover each marshmallow picture on the card as they are counting. That way they know when to stop for each number.

We hope you love these Marshmallow Counting Cards as much as we do. If you’re really feeling the theme of Marshmallows & Hot Cocoa, you could even do this activity while sipping on a mug of hot cocoa, with marshmallows of course! Such a great way to make learning fun!

How Can I Modify This Marshmallow Counting Math Activity?

There are additional ways to use the fun counting activity for problem-solving skills that can challenge or meet your child where they need to be. For instance, it can become a versatile tool for teaching basic math concepts like addition and subtraction by allowing children to manipulate and combine marshmallows to find sums or differences.

Another alternative use could involve using marshmallows in a sensory activity, where children explore their senses by touching, smelling, and even tasting the marshmallows while engaging in the counting process.

Using multicolored marshmallows, young children can practice sorting by colors and sizes. This can be a great skill for cognitive development and classification skills. Playdough can also be used to practice number formation on the counting cards.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How high should preschoolers be able to count? This is kind of a difficult question to answer because every child is different. Some children in preschool can count all the way to 100, while others are just being introduced to counting. Most preschoolers are able to count up to 10 (rote counting) and count between 4 to 8 objects.
  • How can I help my kid with counting at home? A great way to help your kiddo at home with counting is to immerse them in counting. Read counting books, sing counting songs, practice counting with their favorite toys. Even meal times can include counting. “Let’s count how many plates we need for dinner.”
  • What are the lesson objectives for this activity? This activity can fulfill many learning objectives for your students. Math skills such as counting, number recognition, understanding and extending patterns, and identifying quantities are a few examples. Language skills can include verbal communication, following directions and social conversation. Fine motor skills and exploring senses can also be added into the mix.

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– Life Over C's These free printable marshmallow counting cards for numbers 1-10 are perfect for starting one-on-one correspondence this Christmas!
– Life Over C's hot cocoa marshmallow counting cards
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author avatar
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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