FREE Printables Kindergarten Kindergarten Math Math Numbers & Counting Preschool Toddler

Gumball Counting Activity

This super clever, hands-on math activity is lots of FUN for toddler, preschool, pre k, and kindergarten age students! Use colorful pom poms, marbles, playdough balls, or actual candy gumballs with our gumball machine free printable for a sweet counting activity. Candy-lovers everywhere, unite and count to 20!

This super clever, hands-on math activity is lots of FUN for toddler, preschool, pre k, and kindergarten age students! Use colorful pom poms, marbles, playdough balls, or actual candy gumballs with our gumball machine free printable for a sweet counting activity. Candy-lovers everywhere, unite and count to 20!

Counting Activity

If you’re looking for creative and fun counting activities to teach your little one to count, then this gumball counting activity will be perfect! Within such a simple lesson, you can incorporate many different skills for your toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners to practice and learn to count to 20.  The best part is they’ll just be having fun and not even see it as work! Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love this free printable math activity that is perfect for a math center in your classroom, summer learning, extra practice, or a supplement to your homeschool math curriculum. Start by scrolling to the bottom of the post, under the terms of use, and click on the text link that says >> Download <<. The pdf file will open in a new window for you to save the freebie and print the pages in the template. download the gumball printable to make the fun math activity for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarnters

Gumball Math

All you need is the gumball counting printable below and something to use as the “gumballs” to get started with this activity. We used pom-poms, but you could use buttons, beads, or even hole-punched confetti if you really want to give their fine motor skills a workout! Anything colorful and round to resemble a gumball. Print out the gumball machine and counting strips, and then cut them out. You’ll see two black lines on the gumball machine to be cut, leaving two lines. This is where you’ll weave the number strips through so that only one number is showing at a time. Math Activities for Preschoolers

Math Activities for Preschoolers

Once you have your gumball machine set up, the counting fun begins! Your toddler or preschooler can pull the counting strip back and forth through the opening to reveal a number. They’ll work on their counting by placing the same number of pom-poms onto the gumball bowl as is shown in the slot. The counting slips included below have 4 strips for you to choose from. There are two that show numbers 1-10 and two that show 11-20. One of the strips for each set is in order and the other is mixed up. This is to help your child wherever they may be at in their counting. If they’re working on learning the correct order to count, then it may be easier for them to use the slips showing them in order as well. Similarly, if you want them to focus on number recognition, then the mixed up slips will help with that. They’ll need to really pay attention to what number is being shown instead of just adding one pom-pom to the bowl each time. Working on Fine Motor Skills and Colors

Working on Fine Motor Skills and Colors

Beyond counting, your toddler or preschooler can also use this activity to practice their fine motor skills and colors! You could even use this activity for a letter of the week series for the letter G. I love activities that combine skill work, don’t you? For fine motor skills, you can change up the way your kiddo places the pom-poms onto the gumball machine. We used tongs which were an awesome challenge for my 2 year old to work through, but he loved it! Some other ideas could be using a spoon or a clothes pin. If your “gumball” is something more like a button or confetti, the fine motor work is already a part of simply picking them up.  

Counting Games for Toddlers

To work on colors, give them a specific color to gather the correct number of. Or if your preschooler is ready for more of a challenge (and/or you don’t have 20 pom-poms of each color laying around), you can make it a bit trickier for them! Say they get the number 14; you can ask them to put 7 green pom-poms and 7 orange pom-poms. Bam, math lesson included! This gumball counting activity is a great way to introduce some important skills to your toddler or preschooler. Have fun counting together, and try to resist the urge to get some candy afterwards!

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Super cute, free printable gumball math activity for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners to practice counting to 20

Gumball Printable

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About the author


Christine is the mama behind The Growing Creatives where she shares crafts/activities for kids and creative parenting ideas. She enjoys small town livin' while raising her 3 sweet kiddos, and recently started on a homeschooling journey with her oldest! Some of Christine's favorite non-mom-related activities (is there such a thing with 3 kids under 5?) include hiking, baking, and crafting. She loves encouraging her kids to grow their imagination, and hopes to inspire other parents to do the same!

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