Felt board mitten math in preschool

In my last post, I shared with you how we read The Mitten book and today, I want to share with you how we extended our reading of The Mitten by exploring a little felt mitten math…

Using a stack of felt mittens, we started our mitten math by estimating the number of mittens in a pile. The children closed their eyes and I placed a random set of mitten on the board in a loose pile. Then the children opened their eyes and I asked them to guess how many mittens were in the pile…

Once the children shouted our their guesses, we then counted the number of mittens together as I reorganized the pile of mittens into a straight line…

We continued this process until all the mittens were on the board – estimating the number first, then placing them in a line on the flannel board..

The children would naturally want to count the number of mittens in the pile rather then just make a guess.  Some of the children would count out loud and others would try to count in their heads as they tried to figure out how many mittens were in each pile.  We talked about the word, “estimating” and what it means to estimate or guess how many mittens were in the pile rather than to actually count them…

The next day Miss Abby and our Pre-K students used the felt mittens to make mitten patterns…

Each child took a turn completing a simple AB mitten pattern on the felt board. This was really kind of a review for our PreK kids…

We tried several kinds of patterns with the mittens such as the mittens point up and down or left and right…

So many fun possibilities with felt mitten math!

By |2012-01-26T06:00:48+00:00January 26th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Kristine Binderup January 26, 2012 at 9:29 am - Reply

    Thank you for this post. I have not seen enough estimation used in Pre-school classrooms. It is a challenging idea for preschoolers but with some simple practice most students understand guessing (estimating). I love reading about your math ideas. This is one area I think a lot of teachers need the most support in.
    Thank you
    Kristine Binderup M.ED

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      I enjoy coming up with fun ways to explore math – the more I work at it, the more I see so many ideas we can try. Math actually is one of our favorite times throughout the week.

    • Amber January 30, 2012 at 8:47 am - Reply

      I too am glad to see this activity. Recently in a first grade classroom I was in we were doing estimating and I would say over 50% of the children did not understand about estimating. It’s something that comes with practice. I also agree with Kristine Binderup M.ED…so many of our preschool teachers around our area do not plan these types of activities. As a preschool teacher for this generation we must know how to balance social experiences with academic because the day of preschool being completely social is gone. The standards in K-1 are so much higher then they ever use too so we must help give the children a well-rounded and firm foundation in academics. Love your blog Deborah…you are definitely helping educate the preschool educator population!

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

        Thank you Amber! I need to share more about estimating – there are so many fun ways you can try it in preschool!

  2. Anne January 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Love this! I made a set of mittens not too long ago to play a felt board game and this is another way to use them. Here’s the game, if anyone is interested: https://www.sotomorrowblog.com/2012/01/flannel-friday-snowball-snowball.html

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing Anne!

  3. stephanie a. January 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    good idea…i love how simply offering units (of anything!) leads to tremendous math concept learning for those who are ready for it…

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      It is true – you can use any object to build on math:)

  4. Kristina January 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    so fun! i realllly need to make a felt board!! this is adorable and so simple. i must do it! thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      I love my flannel boards Kristina:)

  5. Cate January 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    This is AMAZING I plan to do this right away.

  6. tricia February 7, 2012 at 2:18 am - Reply

    The mittens are adorable. I think felt is my favorite material to work with!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. February 7, 2012 at 8:15 am - Reply

      Felt is a great material Tricia!

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