Nothing screams “hands-on learning” quite like playdough mats. Maybe that’s why I love them so much!
If you’re in need of a festive holiday math center or just need to sharpen up students’ number skills, these gingerbread playdough mats are a must-try.
To prep the activity, I simply printed the playdough mats on cardstock to give them extra durability and slid them through the laminator so they could be reused over and over again.
Then I pulled out our batch of playdough and viola: we were ready to play!
Gingerbread Playdough Mats
My kids LOVE playdough so once they saw me pull out a few canisters, they were excited to jump in and play.
To start, I had them arrange the mats in a long line starting with the number zero and stretching to ten.
Then we talked about how there are different ways to make each number: we can write it, count it with our fingers, spell it with letters… even add that many buttons to a gingerbread man!
Since my kids were already familiar with the numbers, I let them pick any mat from the pile.
If I was working with younger children, however, I would have punched a hole in the upper left-hand corner of each one and then bound them together with a book ring so that students could practice the numbers in 123 order.
Each mat gave them lots of opportunities to practice.
- traced the number with their finger.
- counted up to it with their fingers.
- rolled out a matching number of playdough buttons and placed them on their gingerbread man.
- named the letters and read the word out loud.
- and then made playdough gumdrops to add to their ten frame!
Although I didn’t have them do it, students would have fun forming the number with playdough and laying it in the “trace” box too!
Snag Your Playdough Mats