If you’re looking for a fun hands on math game for back to school for preschool or Kindergarten, this is perfect. These fall roll and count mats provide fine motor practice and aid in developing several math skills, in one easy, low-prep game. Plus, with two different versions of this roll and count games for kids, you can use one at the start of school and another later in the fall. Or use them together for fall math fun! It’s up to you!
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Fall Roll & Count Games for Kids: Math Skills Covered
One thing I love about these counting games for kids is that kids will actually be working on several math skills at once, without even realizing it.
First, this game provides subitizing practice, as kids use dice to represent quantities. This is an essential early math skill (recognizing a quantity at a glance, without counting), and dice provide a wonderful opportunity to learn common dot representations.
Second, kids will practice one-to-one correspondence as they count out a number of ‘apples’ for their tree or seeds for their pumpkin to match the number represented on their dice. Again, this is crucial for later math development.
Third, older kids who are ready can roll two dice and then add the quantities together, practicing early addition skills. This will also help them to see different ways to compose numbers. For instance, they might roll a 3 and a 3 to get 6, and then later roll a 2 and a 4 to get 6 again.
Lastly, obviously, kids practice counting, as they add objects to their counting mats.
So while this may look like a simple activity, it is actually rich in mathematics and helps kids form connections in their brain between hands on visuals, numerals and dot representations.
Roll & Count Games Set Up:
There are two roll & count games for kids included in the download: an apple tree and a pumpkin. Print both mats and laminate for durability.
Then you just need to provide a manipulative for kids to count and add to their mats.
For the pumpkin, I suggest using pumpkin seeds, but you could also use playdough or pom pom balls. (This would be fun to do after you figure out how many seeds are in a pumpkin!)
If you want to really keep things simple, you could provide dry erase markers and let kids draw apples on the tree and seeds on the pumpkin.
Fall Counting Games: How to Play
Once your materials are ready, kids simply use one die or two dice and roll to determine how many apples to add to their apple tree or seeds to add to their pumpkin.
If they’re doing this independently, you might have them roll 3 times and then find the total apples on their tree. Or keep a tally on a sheet of paper to show how many. Older kids might even keep track on a sheet of paper or white board by writing addition equations for each roll.
For example, say they roll 4 first. Then they write 4 on their paper. On their next roll, they roll 6, so they would write 8 + 6 = 14. Then the next roll, they roll a 3, so they write 14 + 3 = 17, and so on.
If playing with a partner, give each partner different colored pom pom balls (for example, one player has ‘red apples’ and the other has ‘green apples’). They then each roll and add their apples and see how has more.
The player with more apples wins that round. They then clear the mat and roll again.
(When playing with a partner with the pumpkin seed mat, each player could have their own mat rather than different colors on the same mat.)
Easy, Low-Prep Fall Games for Kids:
I hope this set of fall counting games provides an easy and low prep way to add some fun math practice. And hopefully it’s something you can pull out all fall to review skills. Maybe at the beginning of the year, your students use the apple mat and only count using a single die.
Then later in the fall, use the pumpkin mat with pumpkin seeds and have them do the same thing but with two dice.
However you use this, I hope it is a helpful and easy resource for you and your students.
You might also like my set of hands on math with Apples…engaging lessons in math & STEM using apple slices and apple seeds for grades K-2.
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