With the cooler fall temperatures and changing leaves, this is the perfect time to introduce some fun math activities to help your preschoolers learn counting and number identification. To keep things fresh and interesting, why not try this fall counting activity – 3 part puzzles!
Not only are they fun for kids but they can be used in a variety of ways and help children develop cognitive learning skills such as one to one correspondence, problem-solving, critical thinking and numeracy! Let’s explore how you can use 3 part puzzles in your preschool classroom, perfect for exploring numbers 1-10.
Puzzles have been a staple learning tool in early childhood education for decades. From shape recognition to problem-solving, puzzles offer a fun and interactive way for children to learn various skills.
In recent years, educators have also started incorporating puzzles as a means of teaching counting and number identification in the preschool classroom.
And that’s the purpose of this fall counting activity.
Counting puzzles are great for preschoolers. They help kids match numbers to items, recognize numbers, and understand the concept of quantification, which is a key number sense skill.
And by physically moving puzzle pieces, kids can visually learn about numbers in a hands-on and more play-based way. Fall math puzzles are just one of many autumn preschool activities to include in your preschool lesson plans.
How to Teach Counting
Counting skills develop in a sequential manner, starting from the simple act of rote counting, where children learn to recite numbers in order.
This is often followed by understanding the concept of ‘how many’ (quantification), which means they comprehend the quantity that a particular number represents. This stage often overlaps the next.
The next stage involves one-to-one correspondence skills, where they learn to associate each number with an object or action. For example, they might count blocks or steps as they climb.
Gradually, children start recognizing numbers in their written form and can start doing simple addition and subtraction tasks.
Throughout this progression, hands-on activities, games, and real-world examples play a crucial role in making these abstract concepts more concrete for preschoolers. Counting puzzles, like these fall 3-part counting puzzles are a fun way to help preschoolers understand the connection between numbers and quantities.
Fall Counting Activity
Fall-themed counting activities bring a seasonal twist to learning for preschoolers, making it even more engaging and fun. Whether it’s counting colorful autumn leaves, acorns, or pumpkins, fall themed activities make learning how to count fun!
Our fall counting puzzles are no different.
This freebie includes counting puzzles up to ten. The puzzles are sized three to a page, making them a good size for preschool hands.
These puzzles are printable 3-part puzzles, with one piece showing a numeral, and the remaining two pieces depicting the corresponding quantity.
For example, if the numeral “5” is on one side of the puzzle, then there will be two other pieces that show five apples or five leaves, so your preschooler get twice the practice in one to one correspondence counting.
At it’s most basic level, there are no additional materials required for these counting puzzles. However, depending on your child’s skill level, some fall themed counting manipulatives might be helpful.
These are some of our favorites:
The Set Up
To prepare these puzzles, just print in color on heavy cardstock. Laminate them and then cut out the pieces. Place the number card pieces on one side and the counting pieces on the opposite side. Then, invite your preschooler to join you in some fun fall counting activities!
How to Use Fall Counting Puzzles
To use these puzzles, make sure the numeral pieces are in a separate pile than the counting pieces. Then follow these basic steps:
- Select a numeral piece and identify the number.
- Find the corresponding quantity pieces and make the matches.
Additional Ways to Use Counting Puzzles
Sometimes, counting can be overwhelming to young preschoolers. Consider modifying the activity in one of the following ways:
- Separate the quantity pieces so there are three piles in total.
- Select a quantity piece first and then find the corresponding pieces.
- Work with number 1-5 in the beginning.
- Or, work with only two puzzles at once, setting aside all the other puzzle pieces.
- Use the above suggested counting manipulatives to place over each fall picture, thus getting in even more counting practice. This also helps with fine motor skills, too!
- Remove the middle piece of the puzzle to create two-part puzzles instead.
Fall Counting Worksheets
Fall counting worksheets are another way to teach important math skills, and can be used an informal assessments to send home to parents.
Often, I will include hands-on learning activities like these counting puzzles, and then offer a “follow-up” optional counting worksheet in the math center. Some preschoolers and kindergarten students love them.
Here are some popular options.
Fun Counting Activities for Preschoolers
Preschoolers love fun and engaging activities, and incorporating counting into these can be a great way to develop their numerical skills. Here are some fun counting activities to keep your preschoolers having fun while learning math!
Because one fall counting activity is just not enough!
Fall Math Activities for Preschool
The fall season is full of inspiration for new and fun math activities for preschoolers. From patterning and graphing to, these activities are sure to be a hit in your preschool classroom.
Get Your 3 Part Counting Puzzles Here
Think you want to add thee counting puzzles to your fall preschool lesson plans? Grab your free printable below!
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.