Order up!! We love playing restaurant in my house! There is always a great debate between the restaurant management (my preschoolers) about whether the fries will be bottomless, or if customers should pay per order. While I do love a good bottomless fry deal, I prefer the pay per order for their restaurant since that means more counting practice for them! Counting mats are the perfect way to extend dramatic play themes into math instruction! Whether you use these Preschool Restaurant Theme Printable Counting Mats as a math activity center, or as part of a dramatic play center, they are sure to be a big hit with your little ones!
Counting mat activities make a great addition to your lesson plans! Whether preschoolers are using play dough counting mats, or mats with manipulatives, they are engaging in meaningful, hands-on learning!
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What Are Counting Mats?
Counting mats are a wonderful math tool that add structure and organization to counting practice!
One of the very first math skills developed in early childhood is the skill of rote counting (verbally reciting numbers in sequential order).
The next math skill for them to move onto from there is one to one correspondence, which is where they start to understand that each number means a certain quantity or amount.
Counting mats provide a place for a numeral to be displayed, as well as a space for objects to be counted out.
Counting activities, like these counting mats, are great activities for preschool because they bring the skill of one to one correspondence to life for little ones!
Being able to physically count out mini erasers or another manipulative onto a mat is a wonderful hands on activity that kids love!
How To Use This Preschool Restaurant Theme Printable:
Print the counting mat, cards, and french fry picture cards onto card stock. I highly suggest laminating all the pages to help with durability!
Cut all of the number cards out, mix them up, and put them into a pile face down.
Your child will draw a card and place it into the white box on the restaurant counting mat.
Using mini erasers, counters, or the french fry cards, your little one will count out the quantity that matches the number card on the mat.
Clear the mat and continue until all of the number cards have been used!
Other Ways To Use These Counting Mats For Preschool:
- If your little one is struggling with counting out the mini erasers or pictures of the french fries, you can provide them with a ten frame math tool to help them visualize and organize the materials a little easier!
- Draw two cards for practice with addition!
- Differentiate this activity by starting with number cards for just numbers 1-5 or numbers 1-10. Gradually add in 11-15 and 16-20.
- Use this free printable activity as a new restaurant idea for a preschool dramatic play area or role play area! Add a cash register for more real life math practice opportunities!
Our Favorite Counting Books:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
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Counting CrocodilesCurious George Learns to Count from 1 to 100 Big BookChicka Chicka 1, 2, 3Let’s Count Soft Book – World of Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar Baby Teething Crinkle BookCount the Dinosaurs!: A Fun Picture Puzzle Book for 2-5 Year Olds (Counting Books for Kids)Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb (Bright & Early Board Books)