Have you ever had a watermelon seed spitting contest? Even though it may sound kind of gross, it’s a pretty friendly competition usually resulting in lots of giggles. My memories of many of these childhood summer competitions, as well as my love for fresh, deliciously sweet watermelon, is the inspiration for this free preschool math activity. Your youngsters are going to love these colorful watermelon seed counting cards and they are perfect math activity for a summer preschool theme, a fruit or food unit, or just because they are so darn cute!
Hearing little ones begin to count, “One, two, fwee, foh, five…” is exciting and counting cards are one of my favorite hand on activities because of their versatility. Kid-friendly themed counting cards are engaging and a quick and easy way to introduce numbers and help children develop a strong number sense foundation.
Number Sense–What is it?
Number sense is a group of skills that allow children to work with numbers; that basically just means they understand numbers and what numbers are all about. Some youngsters quickly learn and understand the skills needed to build a strong number sense foundation. And then there are some children who really struggle with number concepts.
Regardless of whether number sense is easy or difficult for your child, all children benefit from repeated exposure and daily counting practice. Children learn through play and they are going to have a great time learning while playing with this fun, adorable watermelon seeds counting cards set.
What Math Concepts Do Preschoolers Need?
- Count from memory (rote counting-reciting numbers in order)
- Count a set of objects with one-to-one correspondence (counting one object while saying the corresponding number)
- Number recognition and understand that the number represents a set of objects (example: recognizes the symbol for number 3 AND understands that the symbol for 3 means three of something)
What’s in the Watermelon Seed Counting Cards Set?
Each of the counting cards in this packet features a number (1-10), the matching number word, and a colorful happy watermelon tens-frame illustrating the corresponding number of watermelon seeds. But guess what?…There’s actually TWO sets of counting cards in this free printable download!
This set of cards has a big bold outline of the number and the corresponding traceable number word. That’s 20 FREE counting cards for lots of fun preschool hands on math activities!
What’s the Prep?
One of my favorite things about this summer themed watermelon seed packet is how easy they are to make. Print them on white cardstock, cut to size, and laminate. Of course laminating is optional, but this is fun summer activity for preschoolers and you’ll want the cards to last awhile.
Learning Activities and Math Games
There’s so many fun math counting games and number activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and many are also perfect for teaching 2 and 3 year old children beginning counting skills.
- Provide some small manipulatives, such as: buttons, cute mini erasers, pom-poms, etc. and have children cover and count the seeds. Have them fill and count the empty boxes to complete the tens frame to see how many more are needed. Discovering different ways to make ten is actually a problem-solving kindergarten math skill, but these cards are great for introducing the skill. (Bonus: This is fantastic fine-motor skill activity!)
- Have children put the cards in number order and then touch and count each card as they count. Extended the activity by calling out a number and having them touch that number card and continue counting on from that number. (Helps with one-to-one correspondence and an added bonus: you are introducing them to the beginning concept of a number line!)
- Extend the math lesson plan for this activity by calling out a number, have child touch that number card, and then have them touch and say the number that comes before and after the number.
The ‘before’ concept is difficult for many young children. By being able to see the number and then count the seeds in the tens-frame, children will increase number recognition, as well as begin to understand that the number represents a set of objects. (Tip: Start with only a few number cards based on child’s ability. Once they are successful working with those numbers, more number cards can be added.)
- Memory Math Match is a fun game that’s easy to teach so they can play later, independently or with a friend during center time. You can make two sets of the cards for an ‘identical’ memory match game or to increase the difficulty use the two different sets in the packet. They still would match the number 1 counting cards, but seeing the number and number word in a different font will help children improve their number sense.
- Use the set of watermelon seed counting cards to to display on your classroom wall for a cute summer preschool themed activity number resource.
- Provide a dry erase maker with the traceable watermelon seed cards and have children practice writing numbers and number words. This makes a quick and easy center activity too!
- Provide some playdough and have children use the playdough to form the numbers and make and count the watermelon seeds. (Bonus: Rolling and manipulating playdough strengthens hand muscles, which helps with pencil grip and improves handwriting.)
- Make watermelon snack time a delicious summer activity teachable moment! After you and the kiddos enjoy some juicy sweet watermelon, have them use their seeds to cover and count the seeds on the cards–you’ll be glad you laminated the cards for this activity! And then when you’re all done with your counting fun…make your own summertime memory by having a watermelon seed spitting contest!
Need More Summer Math Activities?
Grab the Summer Pre-K Math and Literacy Bundle Here!