Engage your students in a fun math activity with popcorn number cards. The free printable is perfect for fall, but can really be used throughout the year. Be sure to add this activity to your list of fall math activities for preschoolers.
Make sure that you grab your own set of popcorn number cards at the bottom of this post!
Along with the cards, we used colorful popcorn kernels to do this simple counting activity. The number cards can certainly be used for several other math activities and games though.
Read below to find out how we combined the colorful popcorn kernels with the corn number cards.
Popcorn Number Cards
Counting is a fundamental skill that is the basis of every child’s math education.
Related: Corn Painting Process Art
Dyed corn is perfect for fall time when students are learning about the fall harvest. Or any other time of year for that matter. What’s not to love about rainbow corn kernels?
They are truly one of my favorite sensory materials. Those, combined with the popcorn number cards, make for the perfect counting activity.
What You’ll Need for the Popcorn Math
When we think of preschoolers counting, we often imagine little fingers going up and down along with the faint whispers (or very loud roars) of numbers being blurted out.
While hands and fingers are great for counting, it’s fun to shake things up with other items too.
And this popcorn number activity uses engaging materials, and not too many of them. Definitely a win!
Here’s what you’ll need (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Colored popcorn kernels (click to read how to make your own)
- Popcorn number cards (get your own at the bottom of this post)
- Laminator (optional)
- Dry erase pockets (optional)
We used small bowls to place our counted corn, but you could use something else – or just place the corn on the laminated number cards.
How to Prepare the Popcorn Counting Cards
First, print out the number cards. I prefer printing them in color but printing in grayscale on colorful paper will work just as well. You can print a class set, or a set to use during small groups.
Then cut the cards to size. Make sure that you laminate them if you’re going to reuse the cards. If you’d rather not use a laminator, you can place the popcorn number cards in dry erase pockets. Either way, you’ll want to protect the cards somehow.
Lastly, gather all of your materials. You can use the rainbow popcorn in a corn sensory bin before exploring the popcorn number cards.
Related: Corn Activities and Crafts for Kids
There’s a possibility that a large number of kernels may overwhelm the students. If that’s a concern you have, place a small portion of the kernels into a smaller container or on a tray for easy access.
Popcorn Counting Lesson
Now that everything’s in order, it’s time to get started.
The children may need help at first, especially if they haven’t mastered counting and number recognition yet. Which makes this activity just right for small groups or a one-on-one setting.
As with any new activity, the children will want to investigate the materials a bit. I highly recommend letting them do so! When they’re ready for the lesson, choose a corn number card to start with.
Talk to the students about the name of the number and how to form it. Next, practice counting up to that number with the kids a few times. Then have the students count out the correct number of dyed corn kernels.
Related: Colorful Corn Mosaic Art
We used a small bowl for the corn but you definitely don’t have to. You can place the corn right on the laminated card or in a larger bin.
Have fun counting the corn with the children. Use silly voices or make a game of counting. This makes learning more fun, which makes the concept cement in the kids’ brains!
Other Options for the Popcorn Number Cards
The counting cards are so versatile. They can be used in a variety of ways. I’ve outlined a few suggestions below, but you and the kids might come up with even more.
A tool can be added to move the corn onto the popcorn number cards, while also working on fine motor skills. Some possibilities include tongs, tweezers, spoons, or clothespins. We had great success with using tongs in a winter math snowball activity.
If the cards are laminated, students can use dry-erase markers to trace the numbers.
Students can roll out playdough snakes and form them to the shape of each number. Then the kids can add the colorful corn onto the play dough numbers.
Make a game using the popcorn number cards. Split students up into small groups, each with their own set of number cards. Draw a certain number of shapes on the board. The first group to hold up the correct number card, and can name the shape, wins!
Replace the rainbow corn kernels with something else, if you’d like. It would be so fun to use popped popcorn and let the kids have a tasty snack after the activity.
Incorporating a variety of senses into our activities is a great way to engage students in learning. Head over to I Heart Crafty Things for an activity that will allow students to explore popcorn through all five senses.
Done-for-you Preschool Resources
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If you’ve got most of your lesson planning done and just need a few more activities, take a look at the resources below. Click on each image to learn more about the resource.
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Grab the Popcorn Printable
The popcorn number cards are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. Simply add your information in the form below to get the cards sent to your email.
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