Use these gingerbread ten frames to teach a variety of early math concepts in preschool and kindergarten. Just what you need as part of your math activities for preschoolers.
Related: Life-Size Gingerbread House
Teaching a gingerbread man theme during the winter is always a blast in preschool. Sometimes the children have already heard the story, while many others haven’t. Either way, watching the kids’ faces as they get into the story always warms my heart.
I love getting to the point where the kids happily yell out, “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the gingerbread man!” It’s especially entertaining to listen and watch them retell the story in the dramatic play center. Their enthusiasm is often contagious.
So why not take that enthusiasm and interest and weave it into a math activity? (Be sure to grab your own gingerbread man printable ten frames at the end of this post!)
Gingerbread Ten Frames
There’s not a lot of prep work that goes into these gingerbread man ten frames, and you really don’t need many materials to get things started. Plus, you can use the ten frames in a variety of ways.
Below are the items we used with our gingerbread ten frames. You can definitely adjust things based on what you already have on-hand. I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
- Printable gingerbread man ten frames (get them at the bottom of the post)
- Gumdrops or spice drops
- Gingerbread man mini erasers (I grabbed mine from Target)
You don’t need both gumdrops and mini erasers, but you do want to choose some kind of manipulative.
You can use the printable gumdrops that come with the ten frames, colorful math manipulatives like Unifix cubes, LEGO bricks, etc.
Prepping the Ten Frames
First, print out the gingerbread ten frames and the printable gumdrops. Cut the ten frames apart, as well as the gumdrops.
I suggest laminating the ten frames or placing them inside dry erase pockets. They’ll last a lot longer that way! Laminate the printable gumdrops if you’re planning to use them.
Place your ten frames out on a tray or a table. Then grab the manipulatives you want to use and place them in a bowl or on a tray.
Using the Gingerbread Man Printable 10 Frames
Now it’s time to bring the kids over! If your preschoolers are anything like mine, they’ve already popped over to see what you’re setting up.
Explain to the children that they’re going to get to do some fun gingerbread man math. Show the kids one of the printables and explain that it’s called a ten frame. Have the kids help count each of the boxes to help them understand why it’s called that.
Then model how to use the gingerbread ten frames. Bring one out and point to the number on it. Say the number out loud. Then grab your favorite manipulative and count out the correct amount.
Be sure to show the kids that you fill the ten frame in from left to right, top to bottom (just like reading and writing – so you’re working on a basic literacy skill alongside all of the math).
Related: Gingerbread Man Book-Making
From there, have the kids choose one of the gingerbread ten frames to work on. Encourage the kids to go back and count the gumdrops or erasers, touching each one as they count.
Once all of the frames are filled appropriately, have the kids work together to line them up from 1 to 10 (keep the manipulatives on the cards as much as possible). Have the children make some observations. This will help draw their attention to how the amounts change with each number.
More Ideas for the Gingerbread Man Printable Ten Frames
You can use these gingerbread number cards a few different ways. I love that because then it means the “life” of my printable activities are longer. Plus, this shows the children that learning happens in more than one way.
Here are a few other ideas for using the gingerbread ten frames to teach math skills:
- For younger learners, glue the appropriate amount of gumdrop printables to each ten frame before laminating. This way, the kids have a guide for where to add their manipulatives.
- Work on beginning addition skills. Have the kids add one type of manipulative to represent the number on the card. Then have them use a different manipulative to fill in the rest of the ten frame. Explain that this adds up to 10 by saying the addition sentence out loud, “Four plus six makes ten!”
- Print out the page with two ten-frames on it (the frames that aren’t numbered). Let the kids play a simple dice game, individually or with others. Roll a die and add that many manipulatives to the frames. How many rolls does it take to fill up all 20 boxes?
More Gingerbread Man Activities to Try
Here are even more fun gingerbread activities to do with the kids:
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
Gingerbread Write the Room // The Kindergarten Connection
Editable Gingerbread Board Game // Fun Learning for Kids
Gingerbread Man Theme Old Maid Card Game // Stay at Home Educator
Gingerbread Playdough Mats // The STEM Laboratory
Retelling the Gingerbread Man // Sara J. Creations
Gumdrop Patterns // Playdough to Plato
How to Make a Gingerbread House Writing Craftivity // Literacy with the Littles
Gingerbread Problem Solving // Recipe for Teaching
Gingerbread Number Puzzles Freebie // A Dab of Glue Will Do
How to Bake Gingerbread Cookies Cut and Paste // Happy Days in First Grade
Gingerbread CVC Mats // Fairy Poppins
Holiday Gingerbread Syllable Sort // Mrs. Jones Creation Station
Gingerbread House I Spy // Teach Me Mommy
Gingerbread Sight Word Game // The Letters of Literacy
Preschool Gingerbread Man Lesson Plans
Save time with done-for-you gingerbread man lesson plans. The plans come with weekly plans, daily plans, center activities, book suggestions, and activity descriptions.
The gingerbread man lesson plans also include the following printables:
- Character Puppets (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread Color Sorting Mats and Object Cards
- Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Matching Colors (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread House Measurement and Size Sorting Cards
- Gingerbread Man Number Cards (in color and b/w)
- Ten-Frame Mats 1-10 (in color and b/w)
- Gingerbread Man Pattern Prompt Task Cards
- Gingerbread Man Rhyming Sort
- Ending Sound Matching Puzzles
- Roll and Graph Game
- Gingerbread Man Water Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
- Cookie Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
- Decorate a Gingerbread House Counting Mats for Numbers 1-10 and one blank version in color and b/w
- Gingerbread Five Senses Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
Grab your gingerbread lesson plan sets from Preschool Teacher 101. You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Get the Gingerbread Man Printable Here
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