These butterfly ten frame counting mats are an ideal math activity for preschool. These counting mats incorporate hands-on fun and bright illustrations to help children develop counting and number sense. They are perfect for use with mini erasers or any other favorite manipulatives because hands-on math is the best kind of math!
Butterfly Ten Frame Counting Mats
Our butterfly ten frame counting mats are a great center or whole group activity that helps develop number sense and encourages math confidence. There is something so mesmerizing about butterflies and kids absolutely love learning about them. Plus, kids love using fun and varied hands-on manipulatives and teachers love that their students are learning through exploration. It’s the perfect combination!
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How to Use the Butterfly Counting Mats
- Print out our free butterfly ten frame counting mats.
- Laminate them for durability or put them in a pocket/ sheet protector.
- Start with numbers 1-5 with the items pre-printed in them. Once children master these, then move up to 10!
- Move to the blank ten frames for children to fill in. Again, start with numbers 1-5 first, then move up to 10.
How to Teach Counting with Ten Frames
Learning to count may seem like an easy skill, but it’s actually like learning a whole new language! It takes time and practice as there are 9 developmental stages of math that children go through before they develop advanced math skills. These skills will guide them through kindergarten and beyond and give them the confidence to succeed.
The magic of these ten frame mats is that children are learning one to one correspondence as they touch each item on the ten frame mat. This helps solidify counting and connections between numbers and values. Not to mention, it’s fun to use various manipulatives and counters, including food items, mini erasers, or even loose parts.
When children add an item to the ten frame, have them start with the upper left box and move in each object next to it so that it’s going from left to right. Then, move to the second row and do the same.
After some practice, your preschoolers or kindergarteners will be able to tell if the ten frame has 5 objects, 7 objects, or 10 objects — all without counting or seeing the numeral. That’s subitizing, which means counting by sight, which our brain can do after much repetition and practice! You know how you don’t have to count how many fingers you see or how many dots on a dice? That’s subitizing at work!
Subitizing, one-to-one correspondence, and cardinality can all be easily taught with ten frames. It’s also great to incorporate with dominoes and dice. Young children need lots of repetition and practice with early counting skills and these ten frame counting mats do just the trick!
Your students will reap the benefits for years to come by learning these math skills in preschool. It is simply amazing to know we are preparing them for a successful math journey throughout their years of schooling.
Butterfly Ten Frame Counting Mats for Preschool
Your freebie will have two sets of butterfly counting mats. The first set is for children who are just learning to count. The butterflies will be already filled inside each square of the ten frame with the corresponding number.
First, model for the child how to count to that number by slowly touching each butterfly. Then, have the child count the butterflies after you so that you can evaluate any areas that they might need help with, whether it’s counting or following their finger. It’s very common for young children to count too quickly. Invite them to slow down and make sure that after they say each number, they move their finger to the next butterfly.
There is also a number line on the counting mats where the correct number has been marked. This is a great way to reinforce that this number has significance. It’s not just a number… it has a special spot on the number line, and there is a value assigned to it. It stands for that many butterflies. Ask the child, “How many butterflies did you count?” “That’s right there are four butterflies here…”
Butterfly Ten Frames for Pre-K or Kindergarten
The alternate version of these butterfly counting mats is slightly more difficult. If a child breezes through the first set, then they’re ready for the next set. This is really more about building on their counting and numeracy skills and identifying what each child needs.
The pre-k ten frames are left open for your student or child to fill in with any manipulative that you have around. These are perfect for mini erasers, gems, pom poms, and the like. I personally love something that I can grab real fast that’s already in the classroom or house.
The second set of ten frame counting mats are also more advanced on the number line. Have your little learner circle the correct number. I make these into a dry erase surface by laminating them or putting them in a dry erase pocket. This is a number sense tool that will help get your preschoolers ready for kindergarten math.
Using Manipulatives with Butterfly Counting Mats
In the build-it section, use any type of math manipulative you prefer. It could be mini erasers, LEGO Duplos/bricks, links, snap cubes, counting bears, pom poms, etc. Whatever you have on hand or anything your little learner loves will do just fine! Have the child build vertically or horizontally to create that number. Feel free to let them use sets or to make patterns. Whatever makes their heart happy to learn about math.
A great teaching tool is to have your little learners slide those manipulatives off the ten frame(s) and into the build it/make it section. This helps to build conservation of number – understanding that there is no need to recount the manipulatives. That number stayed the same since I did not add more or less to the amount. Modeling this skill and thinking aloud is a great way to help children recognize this skill.
On the “Make it or Write it” section, this is a great way to make the number with dice or dominoes. If your little learner already loves writing numbers, feel free to have him or her write it in. If the child needs extra support in handwriting, it’s probably best to wait on this. We want to focus on number sense, not handwriting or pencil grip. It’s important not to introduce too many skills at once because that can quickly overwhelm or frustrate a child.
And there you have it — preschool math that’s full of colorful fun! Your kiddos will build confidence and essential math skills with these butterfly ten frame counting mats. Don’t miss grabbing your free printable by filling out the form below!
Teen Number Butterfly Counting Mats
Many may need to practice lower numbers for a while, while other children may be ready to move into the teen numbers. Every child is in a different place in their math journey and these ten frame mats make it easy to differentiate for each child, without any additional work on your behalf. Score!
Check out the 11-20 frames in our store!
Butterfly Lesson Plans & Additional Activities
If you are planning a butterfly preschool theme, we have great preschool and toddler lesson plans to celebrate this beautiful season! Click on the image below to find out more.
Additionally, check out these engaging butterfly facts for kids and watch them dive into science fun. Sprinkle in some math with this butterfly symmetry activity that invites your children to make their own unique butterflies!
Infuse some literacy fun with this butterfly ABC sensory bin. You can grab the alphabet butterfly matching cards here! Grab those scissors and build those fine motor skills with these handy butterfly printables. Check out the post for five great ways to use them!.
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