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Number sense is so important in early childhood, and is much more than just recognizing numbers and counting sets. Practice number identification, counting, subitizing, tally marks, ten frames, addition, and more with this fun and free Surprise Envelopes Number Sense Activity!
*Pair with our Number Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten!
Surprise Envelopes Number Sense Activity
For this number sense activity, the idea is to have unmarked envelopes and add all the items for each specific number into an individual envelope. The kids won’t know what number they will get, which makes it a fun surprise!
You can use these surprise envelopes during your number talks, add them to a number board (for number of the week), or use them in your math centers for kids to explore on their own.
- Printables for numbers 0-10 (download below)
- Colored paper
- Envelopes or small paper bags
- Dry erase markers
- Small manipulatives to place in the envelopes for counting (I used mini erasers)
- Short sticks to build tally marks (I used colored craft sticks, but you could also roll play dough into thin snakes which builds up fine motor skills too!)
How to Prep
Choose a color of paper to use for each number. Cut the number cards out and glue them onto the colored paper.
There are 8 cards for each number: number symbol, trace the symbol, number name, number with fingers, ten frame, tally marks, dice, and domino. (For younger learners, you can adapt and not add all 8 options.)
Laminate and cut. Add the number cards, manipulatives, and sticks to the inside of their envelopes.
You do not have to use colored paper, but as a former teacher I know how mixed up activities like this can get, so color coding makes organizing much easier. And of course, more appealing too!
RELATED RESOURCE: Subitizing Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten
How to Play
It’s time to play! First, we chose an envelope and shook out the loose contents/manipulatives. After counting them, we guessed what number we thought was inside the envelope.
We shook out the rest of the cards to check our counting guess and further explore the numbers!
There are a lot of exploration number sense activities in the envelopes: Count on your fingers, trace the number, add the manipulatives to the ten frame, add the sticks to tally, read the name of the number.
During circle time, kids can take turns choosing an envelope and showing the rest of the class their “surprise.”
You can also use this number sense activity by enlarging the printables to use on a number board and use larger manipulatives and sticks. This is especially helpful if you do number talks or number of the day.
Grab Your FREE Copy
Ready to work on number sense with your own surprise envelope activity? Grab these free printables for numbers 1-10 by clicking the large, yellow download button below!
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