Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Math Games and Activities for Preschoolers

L and E are 31 months old.  Here is an update on our preschool math curriculum...

We're still doing RightStart Math Level A.  We've gotten through lessons 1-9, with a lot of repetition.  The girls don't like practicing the same thing over and over so I always try to come up with creative ideas to bring in new math manipulatives or come up with different games and activities.  I'm probably going to stay on these lessons until I feel that the girls have mastered the concepts before moving forward.  Considering this is a Kindergarten math curriculum, we can definitely take our time.

The girls have become really good at identifying groups of objects to 5.  We practice this in lots of different ways:

The picture above is from the Number Lap Books we're creating.  I photocopied some of the pages from the appendix of the RightStart Math manual, and the girls choose the items that represent a specific number (two sticks, two fingers, number two, two abacus beads, etc..).  Then the girls practice drawing a certain number of lines and circles (see L's paper in blue above).

We also play a game with a deck of Uno cards, where we flip over one number and then demonstrate that number using objects, tally sticks, fingers, or the abacus:

(and then they eat the corresponding number of Goldfish Crackers!)

We sing 'Yellow is the Sun' almost every day.  It's a song that helps kids memorize how numbers from 6 to 10 are decomposed using 5 (6 is 5 and 1, etc..).  We often use manimulatives to illustrate the concepts as we sing the song:

I've also been demonstrating what addition really means by showing them how to add up various objects, and by using the Add It Math Game Free Printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler:

Patterns and blocks are really popular with the girls, as well.  Here is a photo of a game I made for them by cutting up non-stick shelf-liner into various shapes and letting them place blocks on them (blocks came from a game from older kids that we found for a clearance price.. great fine motor activity):

Since all the math activities we do are very hands-on, not just flashcards, the girls are really getting the concepts.  I know this, because they demonstrate the things that they know whenever they play (even when they're just playing with each other and I'm overhearing them) - I love that math is not reserved for a special 'class at school', but is integrated into the activities and games that we play every day.

Check out Part 2 of this blog:  Ten More Early Learning Math Games - Number Line and More

Some other math-related activities from Learners in Bloom:

Here are some links to other Mommy/Teacher Blogs with ideas for math activities and games appropriate for the preschool age-group:

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  1. Thank you for this wonderful post! It actually got me inspired to try something new with my son. I loved your idea of matching manipulatives to cards and my son loved it too! He actually insisted on going all the way up to 10, lining up the counting bears. The we played a game with a mirror book where he would start with one bear in front of it (so he'd have a total of 2 bears - the real one and its reflection) and, by changing the angle of the "book" tried going all the way to 10 bears.

  2. It's really nice to teach kids more skills. when they have this they will be smarter than others. Montessori Diet


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