My little boy has really started to get into counting recently. He also loves fish (any water based creatures actually) and enjoys playing with playdough. So I thought, what better way to help him develop his early math skills than some cute and functional fish counting playdough mats!
He’s only 2 so he’s not ready to use the writing part of these mats yet, but he loves counting the fish and trying to make sure that there’s the right amount swimming in the fish bowl.
Just playing with playdough can have so many amazing benefits for your kids, but these mats will help you take some of that creativity and focus it towards learning and developing their math skills.
What Skills Can Your Children Learn And Practice?
When playing with these fish counting playdough mats, your children will have the chance to practice and develop some early math skills such as:
- Counting skills – they’ll have to count the fish carefully to ensure they are making the right amount for the fish bowl and ten grid
- Number recognition – these mats can help them to improve their number recognition as they associate the amount of fish with the written form of the number
- Number formation – shaping the dough into the correct shapes for the numbers can be a wonderful, hands-on way to reinforce number formation, especially for those not ready to write them yet
- One to one correspondence – this important skill (trickier than you may think) is the ability to only touch and count an object of a set once.
They will also have the chance to improve some non-math skills such as:
- Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination – when they are molding the playdough into fish, balls or numbers they will have to use these skills to ensure they make the correct shapes
- Hand strength and dexterity – playing with playdough can be a great way to improve these important pre-writing skills
- Pencil grip – if your child is ready to have a go at the writing part
I’ve created these fish counting playdough mats for the numbers 1-10.
How To Prepare These Fish Counting Playdough Mats
What you’ll need:
- Free printable fish counting playdough mats
- Playdough (if you fancy making your own with your little ones, you can find a cheap and very easy no-cook recipe here)
First you’re going to want to download the mats by clicking on the image below:
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There’s no cutting involved here unless you want to trim around the edges of the mats.
Once you’ve downloaded them, you’ll need to print them off onto paper or card.
Then you’ll probably want to laminate them to ensure they don’t get ruined by the dough.
If you don’t have a laminator at home here’s an affordable and reliable one (definitely worth investing in if you plan to make a lot of printables!):
After that you’re all done!
Let your kids practice their math skills in a fun, fishy way!
I hope your children enjoy practicing counting with these mats – be sure to check back in for more educational and free printables.
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Until next time,
Let’s nurture those neurons!
If your little ones enjoyed these please share the love by sharing the post. And if you have any feedback or anything that you would like me to try to create give me a shout out in the comments below. Thanks!