Array Seashell Counting Math Game | Montessori From The Heart

Seashell Counting Math Game

Seashell Fill The Bucket Counting Math Game

Free Printable for a super fun seashell count and fill the bucket math game, a hands-on way to introduce preschoolers or kindergarteners to rational counting, addition, and ten frame.

Seashell counting is a fun math game you can enjoy with your preschooler or a kindergartner, and a larger free bucket printable will fit lots of shells your child will be manipulating, transferring, and counting.

Math and science require a particular analytical skill. Some children possess such a skill intuitively with the help of genetic aptitudes, while others don’t. And recent research indicates that the longer it takes to assimilate the subject, the deeper the understanding is.

So, whether your little one gets it right away or needs time to process, I suggest making math activities hands-on and engaging to kindle the interest. And the seashell theme adds quite some excitement!

You’ll Need for Seashell Counting Math Game

  • recycled 📦 cardboard (optional)
  • Fill The Bucket 🐚 🖨 printout (download below)
  • optional: seashells
  • numerals

Use can use this bucket image as is or cut it out. I glued it over the round cardboard, which is a frozen pizza insert. You can use your own numerals and real shells or cutouts that are included with Seaside Mega Pack.

Seashell Fill The Bucket Counting Math Game

Instructions for Seashell Counting Math Game

Pick a number and place it in the bucket. Offer a child to place a corresponding quantity of shells to match the numeral. Alternatively, you can offer a child to place shells in the bucket and then count the shells and find a corresponding numeral.

🖨Download the bucket PDF HERE.

Addition Extension

You can also present a simple addition. Simple addition should be presented to a child who understands the concept of numbers one through ten. So, you would explain to a child that “plus” means addition – we are adding things together, and the “equal” sign means the sum – what we end up with. 

Ten Frame Extension

Tens frames are a vital tool and strategy for developing foundational math skills and number sense to meet the Common Core State Standards.

A solid understanding of “ten” is a prerequisite for place value, mental addition, and other mental calculations. For example, by using a ten frame, a child can easily see that seven is two more than 5 and 3 less than 10, or that six can be seen as “5 and 1 more” and as “4 away from 10.”

Once a child learns to visualize numbers one through 10 as if on a ten frame, they start developing mental strategies for manipulating those numbers. Later, they learn to manipulate multiple digit numbers, all affiliated to numbers’ relationship to ten. 

Seashell Ten Frame Preschool Counting Activity Math Game Fill The Bucket Free Printable
*Shell Ten Frame Preschool Counting Activity Fill The Bucket Printable

Subitizing Extension Seashell Counting Math Game

Moreover, you can use ten frames to develop a child’s subitizing skills, which is the ability to “instantly see how many” without actually counting. There are two types of subitizing. Perceptual subitizing is recognizing a number without counting or using other mathematical processes. Perceptual subitizing relates closest to the original definition of subitizing.

For example, a two-year-old might see four of something and know that the quantity is four without using any learned mathematical knowledge. On the other hand, conceptual subitizing is an ability to see a six dot domino and “just know” the total number.

This Seashell Counting Math Game is Part of Seaside Activity Pack

Seaside Kids Activities 77-page Mega Pack
Seaside Kids Activities 77-page Mega Pack


Rote versus Rational Counting:

The difference between rote and rational counting is that the first is a process of sequentially memorizing number names. The second, on the other hand, is the process of understanding the value of numbers. Thus, if a child can only recite numbers in order, just like a heart-learned poem, it by no means indicates the actual mathematical understanding of numbers.

Thus, it is important that once a child can count to five or ten, to shift focus from making that number bigger to making sure that a child can reliably count a small number of manipulatives and assign that quantitative sum to a numeral.

Besides, you can introduce one-to-one correspondence starting at an early age by modeling through real-life manipulative and hands-on DIYs. Make sure that experiences are fun and engaging! That is how we can sustain curiosity and develop the love for numbers and math.

Have you tried Seashell Counting Math Game? Leave a comment if you did!

More Addition Counting Activities HERE.


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