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Over time, I have created and distributed a number of do-a-dot printables at Gift of Curiosity. When I initially began creating do-a-dot printables, I knew they were useful for helping toddlers and preschoolers develop their understanding of one-to-one correspondence.
When it became clear that my kids had mastered the skill of one-to-one correspondence, I began looking for other ways to use do-a-dot worksheets. My kids still enjoyed doing do-a-dot activities, but I knew that simply putting a dot in each circle was no longer challenging. Wanting my kids to be working on skills at their developmental level, I started coming up with new and creative ways to use do-a-dot worksheets that would support the development of other skills, including fine motor skills, math skills, and literacy skills.
In this post I am sharing more than 15 ways that you can use do-a-dot printables in a developmentally appropriate way with kids as young as toddlers and as old as elementary age students.
Using do-a-dot printables to practice one-to-one correspondence
For toddlers and preschoolers still working on one-to-one correspondence, provide them with a do-a-dot worksheet and a do-a-dot art marker. Encourage your child to use the marker to make one dot mark in each of the circles on the page.
Pilgrim do-a-dot printable from my Thanksgiving Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Although do-a-dot printables likely got their name from their association with do-a-dot art markers, your children can certainly use other materials to complete the worksheets. For example, I paired this turkey do-a-dot worksheet with some Thanksgiving-themed stamps. Children can use the stamps as they would a do-a-dot marker by making one mark in each of the circles on the worksheet.
Turkey do-a-dot printable from my Thanksgiving Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Instead of using a marking tool like markers or stamps, your child can also complete do-a-dot worksheets using thematic miniatures. For example, children can place one miniature egg in each of the dots of the Easter basket.
Easter basket do-a-dot printable from my Easter Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Or children can place small foam pumpkins on each of the dots of the haunted house.
Haunted house do-a-dot printable from my Halloween Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Using do-a-dot printables to develop fine motor skills
Perhaps your children have masted one-to-one correspondence, but they could use some fine motor skills practice. In that case, dot stickers may be a great option for your kids. Having to peel and place those stickers gives kids little fingers a great workout.
Earth do-a-dot printable from my Earth Day Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
The smaller the size of the sticker your kids have to peel and stick, the more challenging this activity will be. On this tray I provided my kids with some mini happy face stickers. (Although if I was to purchase mini stickers again, I would actually get these ones instead because they include all the colors of the rainbow.)
Another option is to provide your child with some child-friendly tweezers and some small objects. The goal is for your child to use the tweezers to place the objects on the dots.
Car do-a-dot printable from my Transportation Toys Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
You can vary the objects provided in order to make the activity more or less challenging for your child. The small golden bells below are more difficult to pick up than the bears pictured above.
Santa do-a-dot printable from my Christmas Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Pairing do-a-dot worksheets with play dough makes for another great way to help kids develop their fine motor skills.
Octopus do-a-dot printable from my Ocean Animals Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Have your kids roll chunks of play dough into small balls to place on to each of the circles. To re-use the worksheet, you may want to laminate it first. (We own and love this Scotch thermal laminator, although this one is very similar and less expensive.)
Another great way to strengthen those finger muscles is for your child to use glue! Have your child squeeze a dab of glue in each dot and then add a pom pom on top.
Christmas tree do-a-dot printable from my Christmas Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
For a different kind of fine motor fun, fold a thick towel and place it under the do-a-dot worksheet.
Then hand your child a golf tee and invite him or her to to poke holes in each of the circles. For added challenge, encourage your child to poke the holes as close to the center of the circle as possible.
Tree do-a-dot printable from my Earth Day Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
And here’s another way to pair do-a-dot worksheets and golf tees. Provide your child with a do-a-dot worksheet and a number of golf tees equal to the number of dots on the worksheet.
Heart do-a-dot printable from my Heart Do-a-Dot Worksheet.
Have your child stand a golf tee upside down in each of the circles on the worksheet. It can be quite challenging to fill all of the circles without knocking any of the tees over in the process.
Using do-a-dot printables to learn shapes
Do-a-dot printables can also be used to work on things like learning shapes. On the worksheet below, I drew one of four different shapes in each of the circles. I then drew those same shapes on dot stickers. With this set up, you can ask your kids to match the dot stickers to the shapes on the worksheet. Although I drew triangles, circles, squares, and hearts, you could use any shapes you like in order to adjust this to your child’s skill level. For very young kids, for example, you might wish to start with just two shapes, such as circles and squares.
Rooster do-a-dot printable from my Farm Animals Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Using do-a-dot printables to practice math skills
There are also many ways to use do-a-dot printables to help your children with basic math skills. For example, you could pair a do-a-dot worksheet in which you have drawn mini dots in each circle with dot stickers that have numbers on them corresponding to the dots you have drawn in. Your child would match the number on each sticker with the dots in each circle.
Bee do-a-dot printable from my Insects Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
You could also use do-a-dot worksheets to play a dice game. Using buttons or any other small manipulative, have your child roll one or two dice and then place that number of buttons in the circles. Continue until all of the circles have been filled in.
Rainbow do-a-dot printable from my Rainbow Do-a-Dot Printable.
Use one dice to make this a basic counting game or two dice to practice addition skills.
Do-a-dot printables can also be used to support number recognition skills. Write the numbers your child is working on in each of the circles on the do-a-dot worksheet. Write those same numbers on dot stickers. Then have your child match the numbers on the stickers to the numbers on the worksheet.
Airplane do-a-dot printable from my Transportation Toys Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Do-a-dot printables can also be used to teach the concept of odd vs. even. Write numbers in each of the circles on your child’s worksheet. Have your child mark all of the even numbers with one color do-a-dot art marker and all of the odd numbers with a different color do-a-dot art marker.
Flowers do-a-dot printable from my Valentines Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Your child can also practice their addition skills using do-a-dot printables. Write simple math problems in each of the circles, and write the answers on dot stickers. Your child has to determine the answer to each problem and then place the sticker with the correct answer on the circle.
Fish do-a-dot printable from my Ocean Animals Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Using do-a-dot printables to practice literacy skills
If your children are working on letters, they can practice identifying uppercase and lowercase letters using do-a-dot printables. In the example below, I wrote uppercase and lowercase R’s in each of the circles. I then made a key at the top of the page directing my kids to mark the uppercase R’s with a red do-a-dot art marker and the lowercase r’s with a green do-a-dot art marker.
Reindeer do-a-dot printable from my Christmas Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
Your kids can also work on reading color words. In the worksheet below, I wrote the words for six colors of the rainbow in the circles. I then provided do-a-dot art markers in those same six colors on the tray. The task here is for kids to read each color word and mark the circle with the corresponding color do-a-dot art marker.
Rainbow do-a-dot printable from my St. Patrick’s Day Do-a-Dot Printables Pack.
So, are you inspired to engage your kids in learning with do-a-dot printables yet? What other ideas do you have for using do-a-dot printables for helping kids to learn?
And don’t forget that you can find the complete list of do-a-dot printables available at Gift of Curiosity on my Do-a-Dot Printables page.
Products mentioned in this post:
Tina at Mommynificent
Thank you so much for this! I have always wondered how to use these since I can’t find the actual do-a-dot markers here in Malaysia! We’ve had success using letter stamps in each dot, but I’m excited to try your ideas. Pinning!
Wow! Your ideas are simply amazing! I’ve been racking my brains for ideas to use do-a-dot printables and here it is! Thank you so much!
Love the shape match idea!Thank you for linking up to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Bloghop!
Some great ideas!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!
Do a dots are a lot of fun and they are a terrific educational resource. You shared 15 excellent ideas!
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
We love the do-a-dots! Can’t wait for the transportation workbook. My 7 year old likes doing them as well, I never had her do these as a toddler. Love, love, love the new web site design!
Where did you get the trays you use for these activities? Thanks!
I got them from Lakeshore Learning. In fact, I use them so much that I just bought several more this week!
What great ideas, thanks so much for sharing them!
Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing your hard work with others – so excited to start using these printables in new ways!
I teach in a special needs classroom and I am so happy to have found your website through Pinterest. Thanks for sharing your fantastic resources and wonderful ideas on using them! You are amazing!!
Love your ideas! I was inspired to use one of your Thanksgiving do-a-dot worksheets for my 3rd grader this week. I put Arabic numbers on the stickers and Roman numerals on the worksheet. It was a hit! He loves being able to do similar “fun” work like his preK sister and 1st grade brother, and I love that I can challenge him on his level.
What a great idea to use the do-a-dots to practice non-Roman numerals! I might try this to help my kids learn their numbers in Mandarin. Thanks so much for the idea!
I am very glad to find such an interesting learning resourse, thank you for your work and adorable ideas
You are quite welcome! Glad you enjoy!
The Practical mom
The 16th idea could be using q-tips and paint to color the dots! That’s what we did with the transportation pack 🙂
Thanks for the additional idea. I love using Q-tips and paint for developing fine motor control!
This list is very useful. I was wondering how else I can use do-a-dot printable except the original idea and use stickers. Your post has shown me there’re endless possibilities to use them. Many thanks for the printable as well. I’ll print some for my 4-year old boy.
So glad this post was helpful for you!
Would the do-a-dot makers work with the Crayola Activity Center? My son loves it and we’ve printed off pages to put in it but just have used the dry erase makers so far.
I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think do-a-dot markers would work with the Crayola Activity Center since they are not designed to wipe off.
AWESOME! I love the ideas to make it a little more challenging! Thank you for sharing!!!
Great idea using dots for fine motor and reading and math skills. Thanks for sharing.
You just blew my mind – wow! I never would’ve thought of these! Thank you 🙂
We use magnets. A little metal objet in a circle and a magnet under the table, the idea is to either freely move the objet to another circle or to a given circle, i.e. same word family, follow a path etc.
So many great ideas. Thanks for sharing so generously.