In today’s post I’ll share simple ways to use five and ten frames to teaching counting. Grab your free printables at the end!
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Have you been following along with our counting bin series? I’ve been sharing simple, low prep (and low ink!) activities that you can use to teach your preschooler to count to ten.
Today we’re using five and ten frames.
To begin, I placed a five frame in front of my three-year-old. Then I put several unfix cubes on the frame and asked her how many there were.
She could count 1, 2, and 3 cubes instantly.
She needed to use her finger to count 4 and 5 cubes.
The goal is that she’s able to recognize 4 and 5 objects without physically counting them. We’ll get there!
After having her count the cubes a few times, we played a different game. I put fish erasers on the frame and asked, “How many more do we need to fill all the boxes?”
“One!” She filled the empty space with another fish.
Here’s another activity to try. This one is a memory game and is designed to help your child recognize amounts quickly without counting them (this is called subitizing).
First, I showed my Three the fish on the frame for just a second or two.
Then I covered the frame and asked her if she could remember how many fish she saw.
I expected her to tell me the number, but she held up her fingers instead. That works too!
Now it was time to work with a ten frame. I pulled out a long ten frame, and we counted one by one as we placed the counters on it.
“One, two, three, four, five …”
Next, we played a game. I gave each of us a ten frame, and I prepared a set of cards with one or two dots (also in your download at the end of this post).
We took turns drawing a card and adding that many fish to our frames. The first to fill the frame, won.
I like using cards with just one or two dots because these are easy numbers for young preschoolers to work with.
Another thing you can do is print the shorter ten frame. Put a number of objects on it and ask your preschooler how many more objects you need to fill up the frame.
This was a little hard for my Three, and by this time she was getting tired.
With some help, she held up five fingers.
Finally, we played a quick matching game. She had to make her ten frame look like mine.
As you can see, there are many different ways to play with five and ten frames! I learned about most of these games from the fantastic little book, Preschool Math at Home. I recommend it!
See the whole series here