Let's get counting

Number recognition and counting are essential skills for children around school age. We have created these fun Monster Play Dough Number mats for counting to 10. Your child will learn lots of skills with these mats but most importantly will have fun! Count the number of eyes on each monster to start your number fun.

Free printable play dough mats for counting 

Paper or card
Play Dough - we recommend okiDOUGHki sensory play dough!!
Laminating pouches
Laminater
Or Zip lock bags
Simply print the number mats out onto white paper or card. Then laminate them or put them inside some zip lock bags (or similar) to protect them so they can be used again. 
Let's get started:
Ask your child to count the number of eyes on each monster. Then get them to roll out the play dough for the large numbers. Rolling out the play dough to create the numbers will help develop their fine-motor skills required for writing, plus it will help teach them number formation. You can ask your child to run their fingers along the play dough to reinforce the number formation. You can also give your child a dry erase pen to practice writing the number if you remove the play dough.  
Below the large number you will find a series of circles. Ask your child to roll balls of play dough and place the correct number of balls relating to the number on the mat. Then encourage your child to squish each play dough ball whilst counting along at the same time.
Top Tip - Often children will learn number sequences so it will sound like they are counting but counting actual objects can be slightly tricky. By squishing each ball as they count will help their counting skills. 

 

Ideas on how to extend the activity for children who can confidently count to 10:

Extend the activity for confident counters by asking them to use 2 colours of play dough. Can they create number bonds to make the final number? 3 eyes + 2 eyes = 5 eyes on the monster.  

You can also randomly select 2 number mats and talk about which one is 'greater than' or 'less than' the other. Can they use the greater than/less than symbols. Remember the crocodile eats the biggest number! 

A game we love to play with our number mats is 'Higher or Lower'. Randomly turn over a mat and ask your child to guess if the next number is going t be higher or lower than that number. Keep revealing mats until they guess wrong. This game is great for opening discussions on probability and number value.

The most important thing in mind when we were creating these number play dough mats was FUN! Let your child have fun with their numbers and encourage them to make their own Number Monster. For more MONSTER FUN check out our Monster Play Dough Kit with counting game included. 

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