Play dough has so many benefits to a young child that it is important to let toddlers and kids play with it often. I was on the lookout for apple activities for preschoolers when I came up with this fun activity idea. Playing with playdoh encourages the improvement of preschool fine motor skills which is a precursor for writing and pencil grip later on. These applecounting play dough mats activity is great for counting skills. It is a great early preschool math activity is a wonderful toddler activity to not only work on early math skills but it will also get those little fingers moving.
Apple Counting Play Dough Mats
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– Cardstock. (You can use normal computer paper but I like to use card stock for extra durability)
– Laminator and laminating pouches
– Playdoh (we use homemade playdough)
– Stamp set (optional)
– The Printable Apple Tree Play Dough Mats
Books and items that pair well with these apple preschool activity mats:
We love using play dough mats because sometime’s kids like doing activities with some direction. This gives them an inner feeling of accomplishment. Little do they know that they are working on preschool fine motor skills.
Preparing the Materials:
We almost always have a batch of our homemade playdough on hand at home. I try to let my daughter play with playdough (on a tray) as often as she would like. She has fun and I am happy to know that she is strengthening her little hands. Little does she know that she is working on those pre-writing skills.
To start, print out the Apple Tree Play dough mats on to cardstock (or normal computer paper), cut and laminate them. If you will be using this activity only once then you don’t need to laminate them. We seem to take these out every year during September so I like to have a laminated copy.
First, your toddler or preschooler has to practice rolling play dough balls. For younger kids this can present a bit of a challenge but guide them through it…
Show them how you do it first. Then, let them try. If they don’t understand how to do it then have them open their hands and show them how you move their palms around in order to create the ball. This will require practice but eventually they will figure it out.
If not, they can pinch small pieces to make it look like apples. My daughter tried many different variations.
The next part is where the early preschool math kicks in. Your child will need to count how many white spaces are on each tree. She can then place the corresponding number of “apple’s” on the tree.
This part of the activity also works on your child’s visual perception. She needs to place the apples within the white spot.
We have also tried this activity as a fingerprint activity using stamps you have at home. My daughter LOVED that.
Download The Printable Activity
If you do this activity please tag me in a picture on Instagram @funwithmama and hashtag #funwithmama to share with our community.
Are you looking for more fine motor skill activities like this one? Check out these other printable activities:
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