One of the best things about summer is the sudden appreciation for ice cream cones. Take summer learning to the next level with these cute (and free) ice cream cone counting cards, as well as five other preschool number activities.
Five Preschool Number Activities Using Counting Cards
Seriously, is it just me or the consumption of ice cream seriously increase in the summertime?
There’s nothing like enjoying a cold, creamy treat in the heat of the summer, especially when the sun in blazing over 100* outside…which is about two months of our summer.
And let’s be honest, kids need these cool and refreshing treats.
Maybe not all the time. I might overfeed my kids ice cream — but when it’s all I see in my Pinterest feed from May through September, what is a mom to do?! I really do think the only thing that tops an ice cream cone on a sweltering hot day is an ice cream cone stuffed with homemade ice cream and topped with giant chunks of goodies. (I may or may not keep a few bags of ice in the deep freeze just so I can make ice cream whenever the heck I feel like it…which is all the time!
But that’s not all. You see, ice cream is such an easy yes. Do you know what I mean by that?
Having all five kids home for the summer is awesome and all, but as a work from home mom, it’s not easy getting things done with all five kids to interrupt me every fifteen minutes. I have to admit, some of my least proud parenting moments happen during the summer when I’m trying to keep myself to a rigid work schedule and my kids’ behaviors are telling me they want my attention.
So some days, we resort to ice cream, because after me saying no all day long, ice cream is a really easy yes.
So is Kool-aid.
And there’s something sweet in the memory-making that naturally happens when a family of seven sits on the back porch together to eat ice cream cones in the summer while the sun slowly sets behind the maple trees that will soon be a blazing red.
Obviously, I have a serious fondness for ice cream.
And obviously, I can’t teach any summer preschool theme without including a little (or a lot) of ice cream fun.
That’s where these preschool number activities came from. Ever met a kid who doesn’t enjoy a melting ice cream cone dripping down his arm? Me neither. Therefor, and ice cream theme in preschool is sure to be a huge hit!
And I especially love these ice cream counting cards because for one, they feature mint chocolate chip ice cream, which is the bests flavor in the world, but also because you are not limited to basic counting with these cards.
Be sure to read about all the preschool number activities you can do with these cards, and then grab your free counting printable at the end of the post.
Ice Cream Cone Math Activities for Preschoolers
These ice cream cone counting cards are perfect for all sorts of preschool number activities. Learning numbers, counting, ordering numbers and learning about more and less concepts are important in preschool, and these cards can do all those things.
Ice Cream Theme Counting Cards for Preschoolers
The first way to use these since cream theme counting cards is by using them as traditional counting cards. Invite your preschooler to draw a card from the pile and identify the number at the top. If your preschooler does not know the number, then say the number and have your preschooler repeat it back to you. Then count the number of chocolate chips on the ice cream cone. Do this first by pointing to each chocolate chip as the number said, reinforcing one to one correspondence. Then, have your preschooler count again by placing a real chocolate chip on top of each one, counting again while doing so.
If your preschool doesn’t allow food, you can also use brown buttons or pom poms. Even small pebbles would work. Just make sure your preschooler knows they are not real chocolate chips!
Number Sequencing Activity for Preschoolers
Since these cards feature numbers 1-10, you can also have your preschooler put them in order! This is good work for a preschooler. Set out the cards in random order and ask your preschooler to find the cards with one on it. Place it at the beginning of a line. Then repeat with the rest of the numbers. If your preschooler isn’t confident in numbers 1-10, then start with 1-5.
If your preschooler struggles to find all the numbers in the correct order, try offering only two options to choose from and have your preschooler count the number of chocolate chips on the cards to figure out which comes next. For example, if the next number is three, then show your preschooler the numbers four and six and have her pick between the two.
What Comes Next? Preschool Number Activity
This is another fun math activity that helps preschoolers understand number order. (Don’t you love that there are so many ways to use this one free printable? Don’t forget to grab your copy at the end of this post).
Take the counting cards from the activity above, all lined up nicely from 1-10 and have your preschooler count each number in order with you as you point to each card. Then, flip over two cards so they care face down on the table. Then, have your preschooler point to each card and read the numbers again. When your preschooler stops at the cards that have been flipped over, ask him what number he thinks the card is and why. If he cannot verbalize his reasoning, then help him articulate it.
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Counting On with Ice Cream Cone Counting Cards
Another good number activity for preschoolers is to practice counting on. This is actually a really important skill that should be mastered by the end of kindergarten because it is also a popular and reliable addition strategy.
Have your preschooler order the cards from 1-10, and then stack them up, face down, so that number one is on top. Invite your preschooler to draw the first card (it should be one) and identify the number. At this point, you can also have her count the chocolate chips on the card and add the corresponding number of real chocolate chips. Ask your preschooler to say the number one more time, and then ask, “What comes next?” Repeat this until all the cards have been drawn and placed on the table.
If you have an advanced preschooler or a kinder student, you can also ask, “What is two more?” Your student would then count on in her head and then draw two cards to check her answer.
Remember, the idea here is to teach your preschooler to count on from the last number, not to recount all the numbers previously drawn. So, if she just drew the number three, then when counting on she would say, “three, four,” rather than starting over at one.
More or Less? Preschool Number Activity with Counting Cards
This number activity helps preschoolers solidify their number sense skills by learning about more and less concepts. Of course, these concepts are the beginnings of addition and subtraction.
Have your preschooler draw a number cards from the pile, identify the number, and add the corresponding number of chocolate chips to the ice cream cone. Then, draw a second card and ask, “It is more or less?” Have your preschooler do the same as the first card. Identify the number and add the corresponding number of chocolate chips, and then answer.
If your preschooler struggles to “see” if the quantity is more or less, then have him take the chocolate chips from the cards and line them up. Then, compare the two lines.
Grab Your FREE Ice Cream Cone Counting Cards Here
Think you want to try out these counting cards with your own preschooler? Just click the image below and a pdf will be sent to your email.
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.