Mystery Mitten Tactile Counting Game for Preschool!

If you are new to the Wednesday articles from the #TeachECE Team, we wish you a warm WELCOME!  Every week, we partner with some amazing blogs to bring YOU new ideas for playful learning at home or for use in the classroom.  This week’s activities are centered around a MITTEN THEME for preschool.   Gather some real mittens and come play a tactile mystery mitten counting game to encourage early math intuition with tactile support!

Mystery Mitten Tactile Counting Games for Preschool


Materials needed:

  • 10 Mittens – any color (ask your students, solicit parents, or mittens can often be found at dollar stores or Goodwill)
  • Large Tray
  • Counting Manipulatives (bear counters, keys (real or pretend), wooden beads, Unifix cubes, small blocks, or Magnetic numbers)
  • One printable 1 through 10 cards (laminate and cut out) – print here:  1 to 10 Number Cards

Mystery Mitten Counting Games for Preschool

Prior to the activity: 

Decide what numbers your children will focus on.  If the children do not have a good understanding of the numbers 1-5, work with those numbers until the kids have confidence with one-to-one correspondence and subitizing skills before moving on to the numbers 6-10.  Set out 5 mittens and randomly place counters in each mitten that correspond to the numbers 1-5 (or 6-10) – see photo above.

Set each of the filled mittens randomly on a tray.  Ask the kids to feel each mitten and try to figure out the number of items in each of the mittens by TOUCH ALONE.  Once the kids think they have a guess at how many counters are inside the mitten, they should sort through the numbered cards and place that numbered card on top of the individual mittens.

Mystery Mittens Sensory Counting Games for Preschool

Have the kids take out the counters in each mitten (one at a time) and count the number to see if they were right!  For very young children, attach a copy of the numbered cards to the backside of the mitten (or sticky notes work well, too).  As the children count the items, they can turn the mitten over to see if they got it right.

Mitten Theme Math Activity for Preschool

Extension Activities: 

  • Have the kids sort the mittens in correct number order 1-5 or 6-10 after feeling the number of items inside the mittens.  Lay the corresponding numbered card below the mittens and then count the items inside the mittens to see if they are correct.
  • Fill a pair of mittens with matching numbers of items.  Make another pair of mittens with a different number of counters inside. Randomly place the mittens out of on a large tray or table.  See if the kids can find the matching pairs of mittens by touch alone.  As the kids gain confidence, add more pairs of mittens to the center or activity tray.
  • Fill mittens with counters that correspond to the numbers 2-7.  Invite the kids to count and sort the mittens into a number line starting with a number other than 1.  Again, the kids should count with touch alone, add the number cards (printed above), and then count the items inside to see if they were correct.

For MORE ways to play and learn with a MITTEN THEME, please visit the wonderful resources below!

Mystery Mitten Letter Sound Game by Growing Book by Book
Mitten Letter Matching on a Clothesline by Mom Inspired Life
Pass the Mitten Storytelling Game by Capri + 3
Mitten Matching Activities for Preschool by Life Over C’s
3 Hands-On Mitten Activities for Preschoolers by Tiny Tots Adventures
Number Bonds 0-10 by Rainy Day Mumm
The Mitten Experiment by Powerful Mothering
Mitten Sight Word Games by The Educators’ Spin On It



About pschooltoolbox

Educator, Wife, Mom of 6, ECE Curriculum & Design, Professional ECE Blogger & Brands. I write about playful learning activities primarily via The Preschool Toolbox Blog - STEAM, STEM, and Digitial Content Curator for Omnicor, Inc.
This entry was posted in 5 Senses Theme Activities, Extension Activities for "The Mitten", Math, Winter Theme Activities and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Mystery Mitten Tactile Counting Game for Preschool!

  1. Pingback: Mittens Number Bonds Math Game

  2. Jodie says:

    My kids love guessing games so this will be great for us.

  3. Cerys says:

    What a great activity – we’re going to give it a try this weekend and add together the right and left hand to extend the activity for my eldest as well.

  4. Oh, what a fun mystery game this is. I am trying this one today. Substituting the mittens with caps. Our move took us out the cold and we seem to have lost our mittens, lol.

  5. Theresa says:

    It would be really fun for kids to determine how many things were in each mitten by touch alone. Love it! Pinning.

  6. Pingback: The Mitten Printable Emergent Reader - Fun-A-Day!

  7. Nicolette says:

    surprises and counting! love it!

  8. Pingback: Mitten Sight Word Games - The Educators' Spin On It (new)

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