These Space Play Dough Math Mats will help your aspiring young astronauts practice counting while playing with play dough. These will go great with a Space Theme. Find more of these mats on the play dough math mats page.
To prepare these play dough mats, print them on card stock paper and either laminate them or slip them into page protectors. I always use page protectors so I can hook them all together using metal binder rings. This makes them like a flip book and keeps the pages together so the kids don’t scatter them all over the table during center time. If I use these during Small Group lessons, I can unhook the pages and pass one out to each child.
This file has ten pages plus a cover (optional). If you need to save ink, the best option is to print out the “toddler” version of the mat. There are no numbers on it, so you can print one and make small number cards to place on the mat.
Each mat says, “Place [#] stars in outer space.” To make the play dough stars, kids can simply roll a small piece of dough in their hands to make a small round ball. Some children may want to shape them more like stars, but for children who need something more easy to make, a small ball of dough will make a good star. Children will identify the numeral on each page, and count out the correct number of “stars” to place on the mat.
I added a little gold glitter to the play dough in the photo above. If you have a small star cookie cutter, you may want to use that to have children cut out play dough stars to place on the mats.
The “toddler” version of the play dough mat says “Place stars in outer space.” This version is for young children who are not ready for counting, but need the fine motor practice.
Alternatives to play dough: If you prefer to use something other than play dough for counting practice, try these options:
- flat floral marbles in white or yellow
- craft foam stars
- star shaped buttons
Download the Space Play Dough Mats
Note: This printable is FREE. Just click to download.
Download the Space Counting Mat:
Download the Space Toddler Mat:
Space Books to Read with This Activity