I got these pet mini erasers a while ago and couldn’t wait to use them in my preschool class. I like using mini erasers in many ways, at the playdough table, for fine motor development, and math. These simple counting mats are great for independent math centers for preschool. They include a matching element that helps children develop one to one correspondence as they see the number and match the erasers to the dots. I limited my mats to 1-5 because I’ll be using these early on in the school year while introducing this skill. I don’t want my students to be overwhelmed by this counting activity.
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Pet Mini Eraser Counting Activity
Gather your materials. You will need some pet mini erasers ( I bought mine here), a dish, and the printables. Download my mats here or make your own. You may also want to pop these onto a tray to keep everything contained.
Cut the cards out. You can laminate them if you want. I’m trying to minimize what I laminate, so I left them as is.
Layout a few, and it’s time to learn.
What I love about this activity is that students who aren’t interested or capable of doing this activity mathematically can still match the erasers. They might not put four kittens down on the card with the number four on it, but they will add all the kitten erasers in the bowl to the kitten card. This is still a totally beneficial activity, and meeting our students where they are at is essential as a teacher when you see that you can grab another card and model. ” Oh, look, I have the dog card. Look, there is a number five, does your card have a number?” You don’t need to push, but simple modeling like this and how your student reacts to it can inform you of your next step. If they notice, you can help them count out four kittens. If they have no interest, you can still model adding five dogs to your card. Then you can each do another card your way.
Books About Pets
Some Pets by Angela Diterlizzi is a simple action book that looks at all the different ways pets move. It’s an excellent book for circle time because after reading it, you can get up and move like the pets. The illustrations by Brendan Wenzel are so detailed this book is also a sit and read with a single student favorite. There is so much to find on each beautiful page. The book is simple enough for very young classes but won’t bore Prek or kindergarten students either. An excellent book for all levels.
Dog’s Colorful Day by Ema Dodd was a massive hit at our house when my son was little. He loved identifying the colors of all the drips of paint, ice cream, and more that Dog gets on him throughout the day. Now that I am back in the classroom, my students love doing the same thing. This is a great book not only because it has counting and colors, but because of the language it uses while the spots of color are splatting, squashing, and squishing onto his beautiful white fur. Students love repeating these words with enthusiasm as he noted how poor Dog was getting so messy! It’s a fun book to read and one that I added to my collection years ago.
Pet Show! by Ezra Jack Keats is about a children’s pet show in an urban neighborhood. Everyone brings their pet, but Archie can’t seem to find his wayward cat. At the show, pets are brought by their owners to get prizes for all kinds of categories, like brightest goldfish, most handsome frog, and busiest ants. I love this because as children listen, they are learning wonderful language full of creative adjectives. In the end, creativity wins out as Archie finds a creative way to be part of this fantastic pet show!
Lola Gets A Cat by Anna McQuinn When this book arrived at my door, my then 6-year-old declared it as her new favorite Lola book. “It’s the best one yet!” I am not sure if it’s because she, too, loves cats and desperately wants one. Or if she liked the step by step process of researching, meeting, and bringing a cat home. Either way, this is a beautiful book for any family thinking about getting a cat. It really helps explain the process and what to expect.
For even more books about pets, see my whole book list here –> Books About Pets for Preschool.
Learn More About Pets
I have a whole library of great thematic units, including one all about PETS! Check it and all other themes out here.