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Try these 10 Free Number Mats to teach the numbers 1-10 in five hands-on, super fun ways.

When teaching my kindergartners numbers 1 through 10, I wanted them make the connection between the number and the quantity AND help teach them how to recognize and write the number.

Bonus points for making it fun... So I made these number mats for them and thought you could use them too!

number 5 sample number mat

These hands-on number mats teach each number through:

  1. Shaping the number
  2. Counting the quantity
  3. Identifying quantities that equal the number
  4. Tracing to practice number writing
  5. Independent number writing

What skills are being taught with number mats?

So much learning is happening just by playing to learn with just one number mat.

free number playdoh mats pin 1-10

The common core math standards we hit are:

  1. Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0–20.
  2. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
  3. Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration.
  4. Count to 100 by ones. (You have to start somewhere!)

How to best use your counting mats:

After printing your number mats, I highly recommend laminating them. My secret weapon is an AmazonBasics laminator that creates a thick, durable lamination for teaching resources I plan to use a lot!

sample number mat 8

Another option is to use a simple plastic page protector, but those are harder to erase. You can also print them out as single-use printables if you're in a rush.

These number mats are hands-on, so instead of just writing on them, kids are invited to use objects to really engage with each number. We use Play-doh to shape the number, so I love the laminated mats because the dough comes off easily.

Some supplies you might want to have are:

number 7 printable with supplies needed
There are many options for manipulatives to "show" each number.

Why do these number mats work so well for kids?

When learning numbers for the first time, kids are already receiving a lot of new input. At the very young age of 3-6 we expect them to memorize all these squiggles and lines, 26 letters- capital and lowercase plus numbers 1-20 in kindergarten. It's a lot!

Repetition is one part of the puzzle. In order to memorize a new number, kids need a ton of exposures to that specific digit. These exposures must be memorable! So a worksheet won't cut it.

number 3 playdough mat

The number mats I'm sharing with you are exciting for my students because they get to work with preferred objects, manipulatives, and use their minds in multiple ways while they work!

They're interacting with each number many times making it easier to remember:

I've said it once and I'll say it again, hands-on experiences are worth 1000 times more than a worksheet a child will do and forget by snack time.

My students LOVE these number mats, and they even ask to do them over and over again solidifying their knowledge and practicing their number sense as well as number identification skills.

Why stop at number mats? Check out these other fabulously free resources.

I'm sure you're working on letters as well. You don't want to miss these alphabet mats the kids go gaga for!

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