St. Patrick’s Day Counting: Hands On Games {FREE}

Want some fun, hands on math games this St. Patrick’s Day? Grab a box of cereal and you’ve got everything you need for this engaging St. Patrick’s Day counting set.

Engaging multiple senses is always helpful when learning and practicing new math skills. By combining visuals with hands on cereal pieces (and smelling and tasting the cereal!), your kids are sure to enjoy counting while increasing number sense. This St. Patrick’s Day counting set will help your kids in so many ways, and is easy to put together. Plus, your kids will LOVE getting to eat their treats when the math is done!

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St. Patrick’s Day Counting:

Using cereal pieces, your kids can practice recognizing, counting and writing the numbers 1-10.

Although this is a counting activity, your kids will be building their number sense skills without even realizing it.

Included in the download are multiple representations of the numbers 1-10 to help kids subitize. This means recognizing quantities by sight, rather than counting one by one.

The better their visual discrimination, the easier they will be able to manipulate numbers and “see” numbers in multiple ways, which is known as decomposing numbers. So with practice, they will be able to see 5 as not just 5, but as 3 and 2 or 4 and 1.

These are just some of the early math skills your kids can practice with this set.

If you have older or more advanced kids, you can extend this activity even more to really challenge those who are ready.

Materials Needed:

  • Cereal with marshmallows, such as Lucky Charms
  • Counting mat (included in the download)
  • Number/subitizing cards (included in the download
  • Dry erase marker to practice writing numbers to 10

St. Patrick’s Day Counting Activity:

First, there is a work mat included in the pdf file. I suggest printing and laminating this page so that students can write the numbers on it and then erase and start again with each new card.

Then you will find playing cards to print and cut out. There are 3 versions of each number:

  • The numerals 1-10
  • Cereal bowls with pictures to represent 1-10
  • Tally marks for 1-10

Either print all versions of the cards, then mix them up to challenge students in different ways or only print the version you’d like your kids to focus on.

To begin, place all cards in a pile face down.

Kids then draw a card and add it to their work mat. Then then count out the number of cereal pieces to match the number shown on their card.

Then they can practice writing the number on the lines on the work mat.

Then they remove the card, draw a new one and start again! 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day Matching Game:

Another option for this download (especially if you don’t have any cereal available for the hands on counting mat), is to use the included subitizing cards as a matching game.

To do so, print all the cards on card stock paper, laminate them and cut them out.

Shuffle the cards well and then place face down in an array on the table.

Kids then take turns drawing 3 cards to look for matches (a complete set would be a picture card, a number card and a tally mark card).

Alternatively, you could print just 2 sets of cards (such as numbers and pictures) and let them find matching pairs.

If they find a matching set, they keep those cards.

Once all matches have been found, the child with the most matches wins.

Of course, you could also allow kids to work independently to sort the cards into matching piles if you can’t or don’t want to use it with a whole group.

Math Extension Ideas:

If your kids are ready for more of a challenge, try one of these extension ideas!

  1. Using the counting mat, have them draw 2 cards and add the total to their mat. Then have them write an addition equation on the “Write It!” lines.
  2. Draw a card for them and show them for just a couple of seconds and then see if they can add the correct number of pieces to their bowl. This will strengthen their subitizing skills.
  3. Play “Find the Difference”: Have them draw 2 cards and using their cereals pieces, see if they can find the difference between the two values shown.

Ready to get started? Click the link below to go to my shop and grab this free printable counting activity for St. Patrick’s Day (or any day of the year!).

{Click HERE to go to my shop and grab the FREE St. Patrick’s Day Counting Set!}

Looking for more hands on counting fun? Try one of these ideas:

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