Gumball MathAll 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 PreschoolersOnce 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 ColorsBeyond 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 ToddlersTo 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!
- Gumball Math for practicing addition and subtraction
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Preschool WorksheetsLooking for more themed, free printable pre k worksheets? You will love these resources:
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- HUGE Pack of Firefighter Worksheets to practice a variety of skills with kids 3-8
- Noahs Ark Worksheets for Kids
- Pet Worksheets for Kids
- Jake & the Neverland Pirates Worksheets
- Little Red Riding Hood Worksheets
- Pinkalicious Worksheets
- Mouse Paint Worksheets for Kids
- Frozen Worksheets
- Hungry Caterpillar Worksheets
Printable Alphabet Worksheets
Looking for more free printable alphabet worksheets? You will love these we’ve made!
- Find the Letter Worksheets from A to Z
- Cut & Paste Alphabet Worksheets
- Hands on Alphabet Playdough mats
- Alphabet Handwriting Worksheets (A to Z)
- Do a Dot Printable Letter Find Worksheets
- Duplo Alphabet Mats
- Phonics Alphabet Coloring Pages
- Free Printable Letter Crafts (includes both upper and lowercase letter options)
- Super cute Alphabet Hats are great for students learning their ABCs.
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