This post may contain affiliate links, and I may earn a commission when you click on a link and purchase a product. There’s no extra cost to you, and I sincerely appreciate your support! You can read my full disclaimer policy here.

Free Hands-On Math Activity for Preschoolers: Counting Sprinkles!

Last Updated:

Who doesn’t love cupcakes with sprinkles? I know I do! 

We’ve taken two classic preschool math standards—counting to ten and matching a quantity to a numeral—and created a unique matching activity that’s sure to engage all our cupcake loving fans (but no actual sprinkles required!).

child matching cupcakes

My three year old adores this cupcake matching game! 

First, she’s obsessed with cupcakes. She had them at a birthday party, and now she says they’re one of her favorite foods. Anything with cupcakes or unicorns, and she’s hooked.

She also loves being independent and being in control, and completing matching games like this allows her to take charge of her learning

How do you use the Counting Sprinkles Printable?

The objective is to count the sprinkles on each cupcake and match them to the corresponding numbered cupcake. 

child matching cupcakes

For example, you pick up a cupcake with 3 sprinkles. Your child counts the sprinkles, and then matches it to the cupcake with the numeral 3. 

This activity is great for practicing counting since your child will need to count each sprinkle on the cupcake in order to find it’s match on the main paper. 

It’s also great for learning and recognizing the numerals associated with each number. Children in preschool are still learning to differentiate numbers, letters, and other shapes. This activity is great for identifying those numerals and then matching a quantity to the numeral.

Version 1: Counting to 6

I’ve created two versions of this activity. We have a version that’s a half sheet and only has 6 cupcakes. This version is perfect for a preschool busy bag and for younger preschoolers. 

I personally love utilizing busy bags with my preschooler. You might have heard me talk about them before. 

I have a preschool basket that includes 8 binder pencil bags that I fill with different educational activities, rotating activities in and out quarterly. These bags are filled with activities that my preschooler can complete independently once I’ve introduced them. 

Working mom perspective: I’m also a huge fan of these binder pencil bags for organizing activities. All of the pieces stay in one place, and I can set several out in the morning for our caregiver. It also makes it easy to rotate activities! These are a must-have organizational item if you’re a fan of laminating DIY activities like we are!

I am usually working with my daughter, but sometimes her little sister needs a diaper change or her big sister needs help with a math problem, and these busy bags are perfect for keeping my preschooler engaged in educational activities that don’t require constant supervision. 

Version 2: Counting to 12

We also created a full page option that includes 12 cupcakes. 

full size counting sprinkles activity

This one is a little more advanced. The sprinkles are on the small side, so counting them can be a bit difficult, especially as the cupcake tops begin to fill up with sprinkles. This option is a great challenge for your 4 and 5 year old preschoolers and even kindergarteners. 

Many preschool math standards include counting to either 5 or 10. Although counting to 12 isn’t usually a preschool math standard, I like to introduce 2 digit numbers and extend the counting to 12 once they’ve mastered counting to 10. 

Having activities that include counting to 12 is a great way to begin prepping for kindergarten and beyond. I’ve also noticed many number flash cards that you find at the dollar tree and other similar stores go up to 12, some even higher. 

If you’re interested in learning more about your specific state’s preschool learning standards, click here.

Assembling the Counting Sprinkles Printable

So here’s how it works. 

If you’re doing the half sized version, print out page 1 of the printable and laminate it. Then cut out the top portion to be your main page and cut out the individual cupcakes with sprinkles. Add your velcro, and you’re ready to start matching!

If you’re doing the full sized version, you follow the same directions as the half sized, but you’ll print out pages 2 and 3 instead. Page 2 is your main page with the numbered cupcakes, and page 3 has the cupcakes with sprinkles that you cut out.

Here are some links to my favorite crafting supplies used to create this activity. You definitely don’t have to use these brands, but I’ve found these specific ones are a good value for the price. 


I hope you and your child enjoy using this counting sprinkles activity as much as we do! Let me know how it goes in the comments! 

Looking for more matching printables for your toddler or preschooler? Check out our other freebies (more coming soon!):

Leave a Comment

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!