One of my favorite summer themes is a desert theme! These cactus number formation playdough mats are not only a free printable, but are also the perfect thing to add to your writing and math centers when doing a desert theme this summer.
This post includes a free printable, so be sure to grab it from the end of the post.
Number Formation Playdough Mats for Teaching Pre-Writing Skills
Are your preschooler fascinated by the desert? Mine always are.
So, yeah, we kinda’ live in a desert.
We don’t have any giant Saguaro Cacti living around here, but we certainly have our fair share of Sage Brush and Tumbleweed.
I don’t know if it is the experience with the desert we do have, or if it is the fact that the Sonoran Desert really is an incredible place that peeks their interest so much, but a dessert theme is definitely one to include in your summer preschool themes.
And truth be told, we have also studied the desert in the dead of winter just to “get away” from all the gray days.
My little boys were thrilled to find these cactus theme number formation playdough mats one morning. I had left them out on the kitchen counter the night before thinking I’d file them away for, well, summer, cause it’s still a little like spring here. But my little boys wouldn’t have it. In fact, they could barely make it through breakfast before they asked to start working on them.
These number formation playdough mats are just the thing. Be sure to grab your copy from the end of the post.
Cactus Theme Number Formation Playdough Mats
I should clarify that these are not just playdough mats. You can use these as basic number formation mats, too.
- free cactus number cards (found at the end of the post)
- dry erase sleeve (or laminate)
- dry erase marker or dry erase crayons (optional)
How to Use These Playdough Mats to Teach Writing
My little boys make quick work of these mats using the playdough. My kinder age son will do just about anything if it includes using playdough, and he spent the better part of the morning making snakes to push onto the numbers on each card.
This is a really fun way for him to review the numbers 0-20.
For my younger son, I had him finger trace each number and say it’s name before adding the playdough. This just gave him a little extra practice with the numbers, which he needed as he is still working on number identification skills for numbers 0-20.
And my younger son didn’t have as much success making snakes as my older son, so he just pushed and molded the playdough onto the mat.
But you can also use these are traditional tracing mats, too. Just keep them in a dry erase sleeve and use a marker to trace them.
You preschooler might just write inside the number, or he might color the whole thing in. Either way is fine with me. I figure that whatever way the preschooler chooses to fill in the number they are working on the fine motor skills they need and are ready for, plus they are still getting the number formation practice and number identification practice they need.
LOOKING FOR MORE SUMMER PRINTABLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS?
Summer has some of the best themes for teaching preschool! Try some of these free preschool printables.
Then grab your cactus number formation playdough mats below!
Grab Your Number Formation Playdough Mats Here
Think these playdough mats are something that would compliment your dessert or summer preschool theme? Grab your free printable by clicking the image below.
Then keep reading for some printable preschool centers.
NEED SOME SIMPLE SUMMER THEMED PRESCHOOL CENTERS?
Make your summer lesson planning a breeze with these printable preschool ocean centers!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.