Combine fine motor skills, math, and play with these Giraffe Play Dough Mats!
Find all play dough mats here!
These Giraffe Play Dough Math Mats will help children practice counting and numeral recognition while they exercise their fine motor muscles.
These mats are perfect with a Wild Animals unit.
Giraffe Play Dough Mats
These mats are easy prep — they can be slipped into clear page protectors and hooked together with metal binder rings. Then just add them to your play dough area. You can laminate them if you prefer.
The top of each mat says “Give the giraffe [#] leaves to eat.” Children will identify the numeral, and count out that amount of leaves to place on the tree for the giraffe.
To use these as play dough math mats have children create the leaves with bits of green play dough to place on the mat.
As an alternative to play dough, you can also use green flat floral marbles for leaves or cut out simple leaf shapes from green craft foam. Or, you could spray paint lima beans green. I also have in my collection of manipulatives, a set of green plastic leaves that came with a bag of colored Fall leaves. I bought those at a craft store during the Fall.
Use what you prefer, but I chose play dough as a manipulative because this way, we also practice important fine motor skills at the same time we are doing math.
I also made a mat that does not have a number, but simply says “Feed the giraffe some leaves.” This mat is for toddlers who are not ready for counting yet, but need to practice fine motor skills with play dough.
You can also use this mat for higher numbers, such as 11-20.
Click to Download the Giraffe Play Dough Mats:
Note: These mats are free printables. Just click to download!
More Wild Animals Resources You’ll Love:
Wild Animals Math & Literacy Printables
This set includes 17 Wild Animal Theme math and literacy activities for small group or center time.
All activities are hands-on learning and designed especially for Pre-K and Preschool.
A good book to read with this activity is called “Feeding Time” by Lee Davis. The book explores the different types of foods that animals living on the African Savannah like to eat.
Originally published March 2011. Updated February 2022.