Today I want to share a really fun gingerbread man preschool counting activity.
I’ve been using this activity in my kindergarten class for years, and recently tried it out with my four year old daughter. She loved it, just as I expected.
This activity combines numeracy and dramatic play.
Traditionally, we do a Kindergarten gingerbread man unit in December, leading up to Christmas. It’s a great way to touch on holiday traditions without going full-force Christmas for the entire month. It’s also a great way to incorporate Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies and leaves plenty of opportunities for baking, building play, art and pretend play.
This gingerbread man counting game targets key preschool numeracy learning targets. Your child will practice identifying numerals 1-10, as well as creating sets for corresponding numerals.
This gingerbread man counting game would also work perfectly for a baking unit, or really anytime at all.
This activity took me a little time to make, but turned out beautifully and can be used and reused every year at Christmas.
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Materials for Gingerbread Man Counting Activity
- brown felt
- freezer paper
- sharp scissors
- white puff paint
- assorted Christmas foam pieces (or other small objects)
Instructions to Make the Gingerbread Men
To create these gingerbread men, you’ll need brown felt, freezer paper and some white puff paint. I used a gingerbread man cookie cutter as a stencil to trace the gingerbread men.
Instead of trying to cut the felt with just scissors, iron on the freezer paper before cutting. This makes the felt a little more sturdy and so much easier to cut!
I traced the gingerbread cookie cutter on each cookie and cut it out with some sharp scissors.
I peeled off the freezer paper.
Then I used the puff paint to trace a border around each gingerbread (optional) and wrote a number on each one.
Instructions to Play Gingerbread Man Counting Game
To play this gingerbread man counting game, your child simply needs to select a gingerbread man, identify the number printed on it, and count that many objects to decorate the gingerbread man with.
They repeat for all the gingerbread men in the pile.
Extension Activities for Gingerbread Man Counting Activity
To extend the dramatic play element of this game, you can encourage your child to ‘bake’ the gingerbread on a tray in their pretend kitchen (I love this one).
It goes without saying this activity pairs perfectly with a reading of The Gingerbread Boy (this is my favorite version).
Alterations to the Gingerbread Man Counting Game
If you want to make this game easier:
- only use numbers 1-5.
- help your child count out loud while putting objects on the gingerbread
If you want to make this game more difficult
- use numbers 10-20 for the gingerbread instead of 1-10 (you may need larger gingerbread)
- have your child roll two dice and use the sum instead of the printed number on the gingerbread.
- Have your child roll one die and add that to the printed number on the gingerbread man (this is a more difficult math skill as children will have to count on instead of simply counting the number of dots on two dice).
I hope your little one enjoys this Gingerbread Man preschool counting activity as much as mine does! Don’t forget to try this Tie-Dye Thanksgiving Turkey Craft for Preschoolers for more holiday fun!
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