Christmastime is such a delightful time of year, full of festivities and wonder, especially for early learners. This year, you can teach counting to preschoolers with hands-on Christmas math activities like these FREE printable ten frame counting cards. Whether in the home or classroom, this fun Christmas math activity is sure to be a jolly good time for your little elves!
Free Christmas 10 Frame Counting Cards
A familiar, wonderful chill is in the air. As you venture out and about, you are probably seeing giant inflatable Santas and peaceful twinkling Christmas lights replace pumpkins and scarecrows.
The holiday candy and decor has definitely taken over the aisles of the grocery store. Familiar Christmas tunes can be heard everywhere you go. Christmas trees are appearing with their beautiful messages of joy and hope.
Indeed, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Does it look a lot like Christmas in your home and classroom? To help you with this during this busy time of year, I’ve created some fantastic and festive printables to make the Christmas season feel extra special for my preschoolers.
These Christmas themed ten frame counting cards are a perfect addition to your holiday math centers! They are a great way for kids to work on counting, one to one correspondence, and even decomposing numbers. Best of all – they are Christmas themed!
What is Ten Frame Counting?
Ten frame counting cards are simply a way of organizing quantities while counting into sets of ten.
A ten frame consists of two rows of five boxes, thus making a total of ten boxes. When counting, a single manipulative or printed dot sits inside each box to demonstrate quantities up to or less than ten. When counting above the number ten, more than one ten frame box is used.
Counters can be arranged in different ways to represent different numbers, which visually help your children develop strong number sense.
Why Use Ten Frame Counting Cards?
Since our math system is based on sets of ten, teaching number sense by use of ten frames makes sense. Ten is the building block of our Base 10 Number System.
Preschoolers and kindergarteners who have a solid understanding of the number ten, can relate that understanding to all different areas of math. For example, a child who can “see” 10 as being made up of a 8 and a 2, can then start to see 100 as a 80 and a 20. It’s integral that young learners make these connections, and using ten frames really helps them do this.
In addition, using ten frames help children to develop the following skills and concepts:
- one to one correspondence
- composing and decomposing numbers
- part-whole relationships among quantities
Preschoolers learn to count through practice. That practice can happen naturally through everyday activities and through playing. Hands on counting activities for preschoolers are a must for additional practice, as well as sensory counting activities and even some worksheets, like counting bear worksheets that are so popular.
One-to-one correspondence is the understanding that each item is counted only once and one at a time. For example, when counting a set of counting bears, the child does not count any one bear twice and does not count any bear with another, assigning the same number.
Practice should include lots of modeling by the teacher, and practicing small quantities first.
Preschool math is divided into five disciplines. Those disciplines are: number sense, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability. Preschool math instruction should include math activities in all five disciplines.
Free Preschool Counting Printable for Christmas
These FREE printable Christmas ten frame counting cards are a festive addition to your preschool math activities for Christmas. They are perfect for teaching preschoolers to count in a hands-on way. The cards feature ten frame numbers all the way up to twenty!
- free Christmas counting cards
- Christmas themed counting manipulative (or any other counting manipulative)
Make Any Ten Frame Christmas Themed!
This is absolutely not necessary, but having some cute Christmas themed manipulatives to do ten frame counting makes it all the more fun! These are some of my favorites. Aren’t they festive and adorable? You can use them for a variety of Christmas activities each holiday season.
How to Teach Counting Using Christmas Ten Frame Counting Cards
- Download, print on cardstock and laminate (optional) the Christmas Ten Frame Counting Cards.
- Next, set them up on a table or in your math center with some Christmas themed manipulatives.
- Once you have it set up, invite your preschoolers to practice counting to twenty using the manipulatives and cards.
- Preschoolers will choose a ten frame card and then use the manipulatives available to fill in the ten frame while counting to the corresponding number. (For example, if the number nine card is selected, your preschooler will then fill the ten frame with nine stocking erasers or whatever manipulative you are using, leaving the final square blank)
The main way to use these Christmas counting cards is simple…but of course I share more ideas at the end of this post!
Remember that young children develop at their own pace and some preschoolers might have difficulties with this counting activity.
If your child is having a difficult time understanding this concept work with them on the smaller numbers until they feel ready to work on their own. Using the ten frames depicting the numbers have your young learner point as they count. Then have them count while covering the ten frame with the manipulatives.
More Ways to Use Ten Frame Counting Cards
You can easily add these Christmas counting cards to your preschool math centers, but they’re not limited to just that. Try some of these other ways of using this exact printable.
- Use alternatives to math counters or manipulatives such as balls of playdough, dot markers, stamps and ink pads, or stickers to fill in the ten frames.
- Encourage fine motor skills by having preschoolers pick up the manipulatives with tweezers or tongs.
- Hide the manipulatives in a simple sensory bin for additional fun and sensory input. You can even add these cards to the sensory bin.
- Make it a game! Two children can roll a die and use different manipulatives to work together to fill the ten frame with the corresponding number.
- Turn snack time into a counting activity by having the children count out their treats using the ten frames.
- Hang these on the bulletin board or use them in circle time. They aren’t limited to only math center or small group time.
Don’t Forget Christmas Picture Books!
Get your Free Christmas Counting Cards Here
Think you need these free counting cards in your preschool Christmas lesson plans? Grab your free copy by clicking the image below.
More Free Christmas Printables for Preschoolers
Here are some more free Christmas printables for you! Just click the image and download each one from the post.
I hope that I have helped you as you plan your preschool Christmas math activities. The holidays are a magical but BUSY time of year. It is my goal to help you implement fun holiday-themed learning with less time spent planning! I hope that the Christmas ten frames and other suggested activities can open up some extra time for you to bake, shop, read by the fire….whatever your heart desires during this most wonderful time of year!
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.