Read how to use free printable number cards for Valentine’s Day math in preschool and kindergarten.
While I’m not a fan of worksheets for young kids, I do like incorporating printables alongside hands-on activities.
One of the things I like about preschool printables is that they can be used in multiple ways. I put together a set of free printable number cards for Valentine’s Day that you can grab at the end of this post. Because there’s more than one way to use the number cards, a variety of early math concepts can be explored.
How to Prepare the Valentine’s Day Printable Number Cards
Cut the number cards apart. I’d suggest laminating the cards so they’re more durable. This way, you can pack them up to use again next year (and the year after that).
The larger counting mat can also be laminated, or you can place it inside a plastic sheet protector during the activity.
Grab some items to use as math manipulatives. We used conversation hearts, but pompoms, acrylic hearts, or buttons would work just as well. Place the manipulatives you’ve chosen into a bowl next to the cards and the counting mat. Then it’s time to get started.
Valentine’s Day Math Activities with Printable Number Cards
As I mentioned above, the heart number cards can be used in a variety of ways. I’ll share how we’ve used them for math, as well as a few other suggestions.
I’m sure you’ll think of even more ways to incorporate them into your preschool and kindergarten classrooms.
Explore one-to-one correspondence with manipulatives
Number cards are a great way to work on one-to-one correspondence with children. Place the counting mat down, with the printable number cards in a pile next to it. Add your manipulatives (in our case, candy hearts) to a bowl nearby.
Have the child identify the number on the top card. Then have her count out the appropriate number of candy hearts and place them on the counting mat.
Depending on the needs of the children, you can put out all of the number cards or just pick a few at a time to work on.
Practice number writing with markers
If you laminated the number cards, the kids can write directly on top of them with dry erase markers. Wet erase markers would work as well, but dry erase are easier to remove from the cards.
Work on numerical order
Have the kids put the numbers in order from smallest to largest, or vice versa. Encourage them to go back, point, and say the numbers in order to self-check.
Children could also use the cards to work on skip counting, if they’re at that stage.
Pair with a sensory writing tray
Use the cards with a sensory writing tray so kids can practice writing numbers in a multi-sensory way.
We had some old sprinkles set aside, so that’s what went into our writing tray. You could also use colored sand, plain sand, simple Epsom salt, or another sensory material kids can easily write in.
Delve into addition and subtraction
If your children are ready, you can also use this printable set to work on addition and subtraction concepts. Print multiple sets of the heart counting cards if needed, of course.
For addition, have the child pick two cards from the pile. He can use different color manipulatives for each number, and place them all on the counting mat. Then have him determine the total number of hearts and locate the new number.
For subtraction, the kids can again pick two number cards. Use the larger number as a starting place, and have the kids place that many math manipulatives on the counting mat. Then they can use the smaller number to determine how many pieces to remove.
Grab Your Printable Number Cards
Click on the button below to be added to Fun-A-Day’s email community for even more early childhood education themes, activities, and printables (and get the heart number cards as a freebie).
Preschool Lesson Plans for Valentine’s Day
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (both whole group and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers