Gumballs Number Mats

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Counting using one-to-one correspondence is one of those skills that takes A LOT of practice for our youngest learners.  My kids LOVE playdough and were excited about the idea of rolling it into gumballs, so I knew these number mats would be an instant hit.

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Gumballs Number Mats

Getting Ready

These number mats were super low prep!

I printed off the mats, cut them in half, slid them through the laminator and we were ready to go!

Gumballs Number Mats

Gumball Number Mats

I had students each pick a card from 1-20 and go to town rolling up their gumballs!

You could use all of one color, or allow them to mix it up and make it look like a true gumball machine!

Gumballs Number Mats

The first student chose the number nine and jumped to work rolling up all of her gumballs.

Then, she carefully counted the gumballs she had made out loud, pointing to each one along the way:


The mats were a great way to practice counting out loud and using their one-to-one correspondence.

Gumballs Number Mats

Number Mats Extension Ideas

To stretch the activity for kids who were ready for a challenge, I had them pick a number mat but then handed them a couple of gumballs to add to their board immediately.

They had to count up from that number to get to the final sum on their board.

For instance, when one of my kids picked the seven board, I handed him three gumballs to add to his machine.

He put the number three in his head and then counted on saying, “4… 5… 6… 7!”

I asked him how many gumballs he added to the board.

“Four!” he proudly announced.

“That’s right!” I said. “The three gumballs I gave you plus the four gumballs you added make seven all together. So three plus four equals seven.”

The activity was a great, hands-on introduction to addition!

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