I am all about incorporating holiday themes to make learning more fun! Manipulatives are a hands-on way to learn common preschool and kindergarten concepts. They are also one of the easiest things to swap out for a holiday theme. I made this sweet little Valentine Math Mat to use with conversation heart manipulatives! If you don’t have candies, don’t worry: you can do the same activities with cut paper hearts, rolled up balls of playdough, or any similar small objects! Download it below and check out a few fun Valentine math activities!
A math mat, or 10 frame, is an organized way to introduce and practice counting, grouping, and addition. It is a visual and hands-on way for little ones to explore and learn math concepts! You can get your free Valentine math mat by entering your email; it will automatically be sent to your inbox! The download comes with two versions of the printable; one with numbers and the other is blank.
If you’ve already entered your email, download your printable here! (password will be sent to the email above!)
Valentine Math Mat Activities:
The most straightforward way to use the math mat is 1:1 correspondence as your little one counts. As they say a number, they put a heart into the box, moving in order of the numbers to fill the row. They are able to identify the numeral as they count out loud. Moving from left to right also introduces and/or reinforces early literacy skills.
Another way to use the math mat is for grouping numbers. I made a little sensory activity by adding our conversation hearts to rainbow rice. The hearts can be picked up with fingers to work on pincer grip or tongs to work on building fine motor muscles. The idea behind this activity is to fill the Sweets box to match the number in the big heart. 2 hearts go in “2”, 8 hearts go on “8”, etc. This activity also includes lots of counting practice!
Watch the video below to see a hands-on approach to learning early addition! Make a set of flash cards with sums 1-10. Simply count out the first addend while filling the boxes with individual hearts. Then start with the next open frame to continue counting the next addend. The sum is the final number that is filled! The same idea can be used to practice subtraction as well!