In time for Spring and Earth Day, I’m sharing these play dough counting mats with worms in the dirt! Your prekinders will enjoy practicing math and fine motor skills while making something creepy! Look for more of these play dough mats on my play dough math mats page.
To prepare these play dough mats, I print them on card stock paper and slip each page into a clear page protector. I hook them together using metal binder rings like a flip book. You could also laminate the pages if you prefer. Binding the pages on rings keeps the pages neat, so the kids don’t scatter them around the table during center time. When you want to use them at small group, you could unhook the pages and pass one to each child.
Each mat says, “There are [#] worms in the dirt.” Children will identify the numeral on each page, and count out the correct number of “worms” to place in the dirt on the mat. To make the “worms”, children can pinch off pieces of play dough and roll it in their hands to form a little worm.
Print the “toddler” mat for young children to who need fine motor practice, but are not ready for counting. That mat says, “There are worms in the dirt!”
Want to save ink? Some teachers like to save ink by not printing out the full set of counting mats 1-10. In this case, print the “toddler” mat. Make small number cards to place on the mat for children to count, or write the number with a dry erase marker.
Alternatives to play dough: If you prefer to use something other than play dough for counting practice, try these options:
- cut pipe cleaners into little worms (bend the pointy ends using a wire tool from a craft store)
- cut little pieces of yarn
- use gummy worms candy
- purchase a package of plastic worms at a dollar store
- cut worms out of craft foam
- purchase rubber fishing worms (extra gross!)
Download the Worm Play Dough Mats
Note: This printable is FREE. Just click to download.
Download Worms Counting Mats:
Download Worms Toddler Mat:
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Books to Read with This Activity