I will never forget the lesson that taught me the importance of understanding math concepts versus memorizing math procedures. In college, my elementary math professor performed the standard algorithm for multiplication which is where you line up the numbers, multiply by the one’s place, bring down a zero and then multiply by the tens place, etc.  Then she showed us why this algorithm works. As embarassed as I am to admit this, until that moment, I never knew why the procedure worked. To be clear, I was an A math student because I am really good at following formulas and procedures.

Looking back, it was that exact moment that made me fall in love with teaching math and I realized how important it was to teach the concepts instead of the procedures. This is why I stress focusing on the very basics at this age level.

Reagan has been able to count to 10 for well over a year and I could easily check mastery box and move on to counting to 20, but I know that she does not understand the value of 10 and I don’t want to move on until I know that she has truly mastered it. A strong foundation in number sense will lead to her being able to figure out why algorithms work on her own.

Sorry for the novel; I am really passionate about preschool and elementary math… Anywho, this preschool activity works on understanding number values!

Grab a FREE copy of the template in the Required Materials section below.

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills

Algebraic Thinking

  • Count from 0-10
  • Understand values of numbers 0-10

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills

Algebraic Thinking

  • Count from 0-20 (16-20)
  • Understand values of numbers 0-20 (16-20)

Required Materials

*Affiliate Link

Dinosaur Egg Number Values Template - Explorers

Dinosaur Eggs Number Values Template - Creators

*Toy Dinosaurs


Step #1
Print and cut the Dinosaur Egg Number Value Template.
Step #2
Place the correct number of dinosaurs on or in the egg based on the number printed on the egg.

Teacher Tip

Lil’ Explorers who bought the Learning Resources Dinosaur Sorting Toy, you can use the eggs that came with the toy instead of the template.

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