Counting on Valentine fun

I hope you had a fun and sweet Valentine’s Day with your little ones.  Most likely your child was delighted when she received valentines as well as some valentine-themed candy.  So counting valentines or candy pieces would be a fun and educational activity that naturally follows the Valentine’s Day celebration.  Place a large group of candy pieces in front of your child and ask her to count them.  She could collect the candy in groups of five as she counts and then return to the piles and recount the candy by 5s.  Or she could place the candy pieces into pairs as she counts and then recount the candy by 2s as she points to each pair.  Continue the Valentine’s Day theme with the colorful Valentine’s Day math worksheets that provide practice with counting, graphing, patterning and sorting/classifying skills.

Valentines Day math worksheets

The three counting worksheets ask children to count the amount of Valentine’s Day items in a box and circle the correct number at the side of the box.  Encourage your little one to touch each picture as she counts to reinforce one-to-one correspondence.  If your child is just learning the numerals, ask her to first point to each number and say its name before she counts the items in the box.

There are two pictograph and two bar graph worksheets to practice graphing skills.  Begin with the pictograph sheets, as pasting pictures into the box helps children count the amount in each column.  If your child is still mastering cutting skills, do the cutting yourself to provide your child with cleanly cut squares to paste.  Your child may prefer to pick up the pictures randomly and decide where to paste them, or she may prefer to group all the like pictures together and then paste them all in the same column before moving to the next set of pictures.  Read each sentence below the graphs and ask your child to fill in the blank with the word “more” or the word “less.”  Show her how she can complete the sentences without counting the pictures by simply comparing the graph bars to identify which column has more and which has less.  The bar graph worksheets present a bigger challenge and can be approached in two ways.  Some children like to count all of the like pictures and then color in the equal amount of squares in the appropriate column.  Other children prefer to count a picture and color the square before counting the next picture.  In either case, direct your child to place a mark over the counted picture to help avoid counting the same picture twice.  The sentences below the graphs on these worksheets ask children to fill in the blanks with the words “more,” “less,” or “equal to.”  The bar graph template allows your child to create her own graph by posing a Valentine’s Day themed question to family and friends.  For example, your child could ask:  “Do you prefer getting candy, cards, or flowers on Valentine’s Day?”  In this instance, your child would draw a small picture of a piece of candy under one column, a Valentine card under the next column, and a flower under the third column.  As she polls friends and family members, she will mark an X in the appropriate column to record each person’s answer.  When her graph is completed, ask her to talk about which column has more than the others, which has less, and if any columns are equal.

The patterning worksheet asks your child to fill in the missing picture to complete the pattern.  Cut the pictures at the bottom of the page and place them next to the worksheet.  First ask your child to call out the pattern using the picture names and then select the picture that is missing.  The first line may actually be the most challenging, as the missing picture comes in the first pattern sequence.  Direct your child to look at the last three boxes and determine the pattern and then return to the beginning of the line to see if the pattern can be completed with one of the picture choices.  After all of the lines are completed, you can cut the lines off the page and then separate the repetitions by cutting the line into two or three parts (depending on the length of the repeated sequence).  Then ask your child to stack the repeated sequences to check that they are, indeed, identical.  For instance, the sequence “card, card, hugging” would be placed above or below the same sequence with the picture of hugging children pasted in the blank box.

The last two worksheets give children the opportunity to practice sorting and classifying skills.  Cut apart the pictures at the bottom of the page and then ask your child to look at the two boxes on the page.  Each box has a picture that can be used to name the attribute that defines the items in that box.  On the the first worksheet there are heart-shaped candy pieces in one box and hugging people in the second box.  Ask your child to label the boxes and place pictures that can be labeled the same way in that box.  For instance, the first box might be labeled “Valentine candy” in which case the picture of the box of chocolates should be pasted in the box.  Or your child may decide to label that box as “things that have a heart-shape” and would then paste the pictures of the Valentine card, the chocolate candy, and the large red heart in the box.  Any fitting labels are appropriate as long as your child can justify the pictures she adds to the box.  For example, if the second box is labeled “children,” the pictures of the two boys would be pasted in the box but the pictures of the mother and the Cupid would not be included.  You can print these sorting/classifying worksheets twice to give your child the chance to use her imagination and create different labels for the boxes.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and enjoy spending time with your child as she hones these math skills with fun and engaging Valentine’s Day pictures.


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