Preschool Number Activities | How to make a number banner with ten frames, beads, stickers, and pipe cleaners | fine motor skills, number recognition, counting, ten frames, one-to-one correspondence

This post is a continuation of Preschool Number Activities: Making a 1-10 banner. In the previous post I talked about the impetus to this activity, a favorite DVD for teaching kids numbers, and how to set up the number banner activity.

We started out threading beads onto pipe cleaners as the boys counted out the right number of beads. To extend the activity, I added a ten frame to each triangle.

Ten Frames

I try to work ten frames into as many activities as possible – and I’ve found that, once you set your mind to it, pretty much any activity can be extended to include the use of ten frames one way or another ;). (Little plug – if you haven’t seen my book on teaching Math using ten frames, you can get a free chapter when you subscribe to my newsletter! You can also read more about it in this post.)

I quickly printed out some ten frames (which is really just a 2 by 5 table in Microsoft Word), then had the boys help me cut them out. We glued one to each triangle, then got to work putting the correct number of stickers in each ten frame.

Brothers working together to count out 6 stickers for the ten frame
Superman helping Lil’ Dude count out 6 stickers.

Superman did a great job with this, although he wasn’t keen on the idea of following my rule of ordering the stickers. I like to place objects in order from the top left to the bottom right as we count. I peeled up several of the stickers and showed him how to put them in the right order, but eventually realized that it really didn’t matter and I was only discouraging him, so I let it go and let him happily count out the stickers his own way. 😉

Lil’ Dude surprised me by actually putting the stickers inside the little boxes on the ten frames (as well as all over the triangle — more peeling up stickers and catching myself being micro-managing!).

Preschool number activities banner with pony beads and ten frames
All the triangles

The Finished Product: Our Preschool Number Banner

I hung up the finished product on our living room wall. We live in a small apartment (for now), so our homeschooling area is our play area is our living room is our kitchen … but that’s another story.

ten frames and beads on pipe cleaners

Lil’ Dude kept going up to the banner throughout the day and pointing out the different numbers. It certainly wasn’t an all-encompassing lesson that taught him everything he needs to know about numbers, but he and his big brother both had fun doing it, and it involved activities that were challenging enough for both of them to enjoy without getting too frustrated. I think Superman got in some more solid practice with ten frames, and Lil’ Dude got plenty of practice with number recognition.

When he counts, he still ends with “twelven” for twenty, and has no appreciation for one-to-one correspondence, but I have no doubt that all those little details will work themselves out right in his head with plenty of exposure and fun, hands-on activities. 🙂

Our preschool number activities banner
Our number banner in the best lighting I could get for this picture 😉

Instructions for Making Your Own Number Banner

I considered making a free printable for this preschool number activity, but I didn’t know if it would be that helpful, since this involves fairly simple prep. You can adapt this endlessly to meet the needs and abilities of your own learners. If you try any version of these preschool number activities, I’d love to hear how they work for you!

If anyone would like a printable for this activity, with instructions and patterns for the triangles and ten frame, let me know! I’d be happy to make it up if that would be helpful.

Otherwise, just cut out triangles, poke in pipe cleaners, glue on 2×5 grids, and decorate as much as you like! 🙂

Have fun doing math with your children today!


More Math Activities

You can see all of my posts about our math activities (with several free printables) on my Math page.

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