Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I am glad that it is in our sights. After all of the hustle and bustle between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it has been a little boring this month. I am ready to dive into Valentine’s Day! We are going full throttle with our Valentine’s Day activities. I love seeing the smiles of excitement and wonder on my girls’ face when we start a new theme. These sweet free printable Valentine’s Day Counting Games are a great activity for your Valentine theme math centers.
Valentine’s Day Counting Games
Counting grids are a great way to work on counting. They give kids the freedom to work on one to one correspondence, subitizing, and number recognition without the need to remember complicated rules for other games.
Materials Needed for the Valentine’s Day
Counting Grid Games
Valentine’s Day Counting Grids
Prepping the Valentine Counting Games
Prepping this activity is incredibly easy. Simply print and laminate. Cut apart the differentiated instruction cube inserts.
If you don’t have a differentiated instruction cube set, I highly encourage you to get a set asap! There are so many ways to use them!
Otherwise, you can use a traditional die or a wooden block with numbers written on the sides.
This set comes with 3 different grids. One for each of the following: 10, 20, and 100 as well as a two dice. The first one helps with counting by 3 while the other is by 6.
We used conversation hearts and some of the hearts we have in our mini eraser stash, but you can also use beads, heart shaped foam blocks, pennies, any other kind of heart candy, etc. You can use whatever you have on hand!
If you don’t want to laminate, we love using dry erase pockets to protect activities. No need to waste ink by printing activities multiple times when you don’t have time to laminate.
All you have to do is slide the papers into the dry erase pockets until you are done with the activity. You can even use dry erase markers or dry erase crayons, just like when you laminate it.
Playing the Valentine Counting Grid Games
Playing with this activity is not only simple, but so much fun! You can choose from the 10, 20 or 100 space grid games depending on the skill level of your child.
Roll the dice and place that number of hearts on the spaces of the grid. Let your child decide where to place them. There is no right or wrong way to use the grid game.
We’ve had fun using the dice alone and counting the hearts and also using the ten-frame by itself to practice counting all the way to 10.
This continues the same concept with the 20 and 100 grid.
For young learners you can use the 10-frame grid game with the 1-3 number cube. Then progress to using the 20 or 100 grids with the 1-6 number cube.
One-To-One Correspondence: Teaches the child that each heart is ‘1’. Start simple with the 10-grid and the 1-3 cube. When your kids are ready to practice higher counting skills, try using an 8, 10, or 12-sided die.
Addition: All of the numbers rolled ‘add’ up to the total number.
You can also use double-dice (we love these double dice!) or 2 dice and add the numbers together on each turn. This is especially great on the 100 grid where the kids have more opportunities to roll and add.
When your child advances to addition of three numbers, using 3 dice and the grids (especially 20 and 100) can help also with this.
Subtraction: Start with the counting grid full of hearts. With each roll, ‘subtract’ that number of hearts on the grid.
Extend the learning opportunities with some engaging Valentine’s Day books!
Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is CoolDay It Rained HeartsLove MonsterHappy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! (If You Give…)Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink (Gilbert the Opossum)There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose!