Winter counting mats are the perfect seasonal math activity for preschool. These ten frame mats are hands-on, colorful, and help children develop counting and number sense. Perfect for use with mini erasers or any other favorite manipulatives because hands-on math is the best kind of math!
Winter Ten Frame Counting Mats
Our winter ten frames are a much-loved preschool or kindergarten counting activity.
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How to Use the Winter Counting Mats
- Print out our free winter ten frame counting mats.
- Laminate them for durability or put them in a pocket/sheet protector.
- Start with the numbers 1-5 that have 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! There are actually 9 developmental stages of math learning that children go through before they get to the advanced counting that they will need for kindergarten and beyond.
What I love about these winter counting 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 new manipulatives and counters!
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!
That’s actually one of my favorite parts about teaching preschoolers. We are teaching them life lessons in these early years. Your students will reap the benefits for years to come by learning these math skills in preschool. And their future teachers will thank you!
Winter Ten Frame Counting Mats for Preschool
Your freebie will have two sets of winter counting mats. The first set is for children who are just learning to count. The snowflakes will already be in the ten frame with the corresponding number.
First, show the child how to count to that number by slowly touching each snowflake. Then, have the child count the snowflakes after you so that you can evaluate any areas that they might need help with, whether it’s counting or following their finger. Or perhaps just counting too quickly.
There is also a number line on the counting mats where the correct number will be 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.
Winter Ten Frames for Pre-K or Kindergarten
The pre-k or kindergarten version of these winter 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.
Many may need to practice lower numbers for a while, while other children may be reading 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 and meet the needs of each child.
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 Winter Ten Frames
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.
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, I would probably hold off on this. We want to focus on number sense, not handwriting. 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 made fun! Your kiddos will build confidence and essential math skills with these winter ten frame counting mats. Don’t miss grabbing your free printable by filling out the form below!
Loving these winter ten frames but your kids are ready for higher numbers? Check out the 11-20 frames in our store!