This Five Little Leaves Math Game is an interactive rhyme activity to help kids practice simple subtraction in Pre-K. Subtraction is a big concept, but with rhymes like this one (much like Five Little Monkeys and similar rhymes), preschool kids are practicing “taking away” in a playful, developmentally appropriate way.
For this activity, just print the mats and rhyme, find some manipulatives, and have fun!
I wrote this rhyme myself, but there are many variations of Five Little Leaves, and you can use any one of them with this mat. There’s a printable sheet of the rhyme included in the printable below.
How to Play the Five Little Leaves Game:
Print the rhyme, and print a mat for each child in your group. These come in color and blackline.
Use some leaf manipulatives. I have this leaf table scatter that works great. You can also use foamie leaf shapes or have kids make leaves with play dough. You can pretend that colored flat floral marbles are leaves.
Have children count and place 5 leaves on the tree. Recite the rhyme to the children with the number five. When the leaf falls in the rhyme, have children move one of their leaves either off the mat or down beside the trunk of the tree. Repeat with each number until there are no leaves.
Download the Five Little Leaves Game:
Note: This is a free printable, just click to download.
If you need printable pocket charts and books of this rhyme (and a position words rhyme), check out my Five Little Leaves Book & Pocket Chart set in my shop.
From My Shop:
Five Little Leaves
by Karen Cox
5 little leaves,
High up in the tree.
Along comes a fall breeze,
Windy as can be
Down one leaf falls,
Down, down, down
Falls until it hits the ground.
Repeat the rhyme, replacing the number each time. At zero, change the last two lines to:
“No more little leaves,
High up in the tree.”