Looking for a new winter counting activity? It seems like no matter how many math activities I have, there is always room for one more. Especially with a special needs kiddo who needs to repeat, repeat, repeat (and then repeat some more!) This one simple counting activity will help your preschoolers count, use fine motor skills, and so much more. The good news is that they can be used with whatever math manipulatives you have on hand. Today I’m sharing these mitten counting cards for preschoolers that can be used with play dough, pom poms, magnetic counting chips, cotton balls and more, to help enhance your preschoolers’ counting skills.

– Life Over C's Free printable mitten counting cards for your winter preschool math centers.

Recommended Grade Level:

Multi-Sensory Mitten Counting Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Laminating Supplies (optional)
  • Scissors/Paper Cutter
  • Magnetic Wand
  • Magnet Circle Counters

With simple to follow instructions, your preschoolers will add dots to each mitten to combine numbers and learn basic math skills. All the while your preschoolers will be learning the necessary basic counting skills required at their age.

These mitten counting cards will help your preschoolers count up to 10, but can also be used to teach basic math skills, like some of our ten-frame number mats which are great for teaching addition number bonds.

To work on addition, you can simply have the kids come up with different ways to reach the total number by using two different colors of pom poms or play dough.

“If I have 1 blue dot, how many more dots do I need to make 6?”

How do you introduce numbers to preschoolers?

There are many ways you can introduce numbers to preschoolers. I prefer using hands-on activities to help introduce numbers to preschoolers because they seem to take well to this type of learning. If you’re looking for more free printable math activities to introduce numbers to preschoolers then check out this list of ideas:

With so many activities, counting books and hand-on educational fun options your preschoolers will start understanding basic math and reading skills together in one activity.

And who doesn’t love reading The Mitten by Jan Brett to their preschoolers??! I’ve been reading it to my kids for almost 20 years! Add the book to your lesson plans and these mitten counting cards to your math center to create a great literacy and winter math activity.

– Life Over C's Free printable mitten counting cards for your winter preschool math centers. Use play dough, pom poms, magnetic counting circles to create 'dots' on the mittens.

What math should preschoolers know?

When it comes to teaching preschoolers about numbers, one of the most popular questions I’m asked is what math should preschoolers know. This is a common question because so many educators and parents alike want to make certain their preschoolers know the right level of math options prior to entertaining kindergarten.

Some of the basic math skills your preschoolers should know include:

  • Basic number bonds
  • Shapes
  • Problem Solving
  • Sets and classifying
  • Number Sense
  • Counting
  • Number Patterns

This is such a fun age group to teach math to as your preschoolers will have a huge interest in hands-on activities to learn the basic math skills they need to learn at this age.

Math is something that your preschoolers will use in their everyday life from now forward, so it’s always good to form a solid base knowledge of numbers, number bonds, and basic addition and subtraction. These math skills you’re teaching your preschoolers will take them further in life.

If you’re ready to start teaching your preschoolers about counting to ten, then print out this free mitten counting cards activity, cute each square if you’d like and them laminate the sheets. As you know, adding a bunch of preschoolers paper that isn’t laminated means you will barely get one use out of these mitten counting cards.

Using your laminating machine to protect these mitten counting cards will ensure multiple uses by your preschoolers because the playdough won’t get stuck to the paper directly and can easily be wiped clean whenever your preschoolers are done with this activity.

– Life Over C's Use pom poms to count dots on these free printable mitten counting math centers for preschool

How do I use these mitten counting cards?

Print and cut the mitten counting cards.

Laminate the cards so that your preschoolers will be able to use these over and over.

Ok, really just laminate them because preschoolers are vicious. They can destroy a piece of paper in less time than it takes you to print it.

Each mitten counting card has instructions, such as “add one dot to the mitten”, “add two dots to the mitten”, this repeats until your preschooler places ten dots on the mitten.

– Life Over C's Use magnetic counters to make dots on this free printable mitten counting activity for preschoolers

These winter counting activities for preschoolers can be used with play dough for the dots, buttons, pom poms or other small items that allow your preschoolers to place the correct number of “dots” on each mitten until they’ve successfully used the dots to count to ten.

We love using magnetic circle counters to create dots on the mittens!

– Life Over C's Use a magnetic wand to collect the magnetic math counters

Use a magnetic wand to collect all the magnetic counters off the mittens to clean up and get ready to start on a new card.

This is also a great way to work science discoveries into your learning activities! I love activities that cross subjects because it helps the kids remember the activity and content.

If you don’t have access to a printer and you want to get started on the activity right now, you can cut some mittens out of construction paper like we did for this mitten counting game. Or save time and grab the made-for-you mittens below.

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– Life Over C's Free printable mitten counting cards for your winter preschool math centers.
– Life Over C's Free printable counting activity for winter math centers preschool
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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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