These free printable back to school theme counting clip cards are a fun, low-prep way to help your child improve their counting abilities, number recognition, finger strength, and fine motor skills. I hope your little learner enjoys them!
Yes, that’s a dot/dauber marker you see in the image above. That’s because you don’t have to use a clothespin to “clip” count and clip cards. Your child can mark the answer with pretty much anything, including dot markers, stickers, or removable manipulatives. Keep reading for a few of our favorite options!
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How to print and and use count & clip
Counting clip cards, also called count and clip cards, are a low-prep, reusable, and hands-on way for your child to practice counting and number recognition.
Counting clip cards can help your child develop and improve their:
- Number sense
- Counting abilities
- Number recognition
- Subitizing skills
- Fine motor skills
Subitizing is the ability to recognize small quantities without consciously counting them. For example, you know when you see three dots on a die that it means “3” without counting them “1, 2, 3.” This is instant recognition is subitizing.
If you don’t have a clothespin for clipping the answer (or if your child can’t operate one yet), that’s okay. Your child can mark the answers with a manipulative, like a counting bear, pompom, or nature treasure.
For more fine motor practice, you can have your littler learner use large tongs or plastic tweezers to place a manipulative. In the image below, you can see my daughter using a graphing page with tweezers and wool balls:
Materials needed to prepare and use count & clip cards
You don’t need much time or materials to print and use these theme counting cards:
- Your free printable. The download is located further down the post. Look for the row of purple arrows.
- Paper or cardstock. If you’re not laminating the pages, use cardstock. If you are laminating, I recommend 32 lb “premium” paper. It is thicker than regular printer paper and is bright white for vibrant images. To see it in use, see this post with the best paper for printables.
- Laminator and laminating pouches. Optional, but recommended to make the cards more durable.
- Scissors or a paper trimmer/cutter. I use this paper trimmer.
- A clothespin or manipulative to mark answers. If your pages are laminated, your child can use a dry erase marker or a dry erase crayon.
What is a dry erase crayon? It’s a wax crayon that you can use instead of a dry erase marker. We use the Stabilo Woody crayons/pencils. They’re water soluble and wipe off easily with a damp cloth or paper towel without the extensive scrubbing markers can require. They work very well on laminated pages. See them in action in this post with free printable dinosaur coloring pages.
- XXL lead applies as much pigment as 8 colored pencils at once
- Large width ideal for smaller hands
How to use counting clip cards
Download your printable and print the pages you want. The cards have numbers 1-12 with 4 cards per page. Look for the row of purple arrows lower down the page.
Laminate the pages before cutting them out, unless your laminator tells you to laminate first. This saves you from cutting everything twice.
Cut the cards out. You can use scissors, but a paper trimmer is faster.
Count, clip, and have fun learning! Your child may need help if they’re new to this type of activity or still working on their numbers. When my daughter was younger, I would count each picture and point to it in left to right order. She would then find the correct answer and clip it.
Instead of clipping, your little learner can place a manipulative on top of their answer or mark it with a dry erase crayon/marker.
Free printable back to school theme count and clip cards PDF download
Please note that the cute back to school clipart is copyright by Digital Artsi and is used under license.
This printable is licensed for personal and single classroom use. You are also welcome to use it with scout troops, homeschool co-ops, etc. If you are personally organizing the activity and not charging to use the count and clip cards, it’s fine to use these. Yes, you are also welcome to leave it for a substitute. Thank you to the considerate readers who’ve emailed to ask.
I hope your little learner has lots of fun with these back to school themed counting clip cards!
Be sure to grab these additional printables for your child below:
Alphabet Emergent Readers
The series of printable alphabet books is a work in progress. Download additional books that are currently available by following the links below.
Check back again soon for more printable books - I'm working hard to get them created and shared so you can prepare for the school year ahead.
Free Printable Letter D Book Emergent Reader
Get your free printable letter d emergent reader book in this post
Free Printable Letter Z Book Emergent Reader
Download your printable letter Z book in this post.
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