Friday, February 15, 2013

Favorite Preschool Math Ideas

Math is my favorite subject and I want my kids to love it as much as I do!  I think the best way to do this is through lots of fun and creative games that let them explore and discover new concepts about the world of numbers.  Here are some of the best Preschool Math activities that I've tried with my little ones over the past year (ages 2.5-3.5)...

I'm constantly making up games that involve matching numbers to quantities so the kids don't just memorize numbers and math facts but understand what they mean.

Our Monkeys on the Number Scale game is great for visualizing addition facts.

 The monkeys also make an appearance in this Comparing Quantities Crocodile Math Game

Setting up a Number Line for the kids to walk and jump on is always a favorite with my kiddos.

At our house, we're constantly making up word problems or learning about number conservation using crackers - it requires no preparation, and the kids are always excited about eating the results.

Another fun way to learn number conservation and basic addition facts is this Fish Grouping Game.  I like that the fish stay in the bag so the kids realize that there are always the same number of fish even when they move them between the two sides.

Blocks in Socks is a neat way to let kids explore estimation and comparing quantities.  You put a different number of blocks in each sock and ask the kids to order them by weight and volume.

Counting games are a staple in any Preschool classroom (or home).  My kids love it when I switch around the little manipulatives we use for counting...

... like with this Bumblebee Counting Game.

... or this Counting Game Made from Catalog Images

 Although I feel comfortable teaching math at home using games that I make up, I've also been following Rightstart Math to get some additional ideas (and mostly because I think the abacus is neat).  A big part of that program is being able to identify wuantities up to 5 without counting.  So I made these neat little number hearts for the girls:

I have to say that these are still some of my favorite Homemade Math Manipulatives

My kids' favorite manipulative, however, are plastic animal figures.  Fortunately there are a lot of Math Activities With Animal Figures that we can do to practice sorting, estimation, ordinal numbers, and logic skills.

My girls absolutely loved seeing how far they could jump, how fast they could run, and how much they could lift in our Number Olympics

I think too many people shy away from teaching their kids more 'advanced math concepts' (I'm putting that in quotes because a lot of advanced concepts can easily be adapted to a Preschool level).  For example...

... teaching my preschoolers the concepts behind Venn Diagrams has taught them so many amazing mathematical reasoning and logic skills.

We even did a little lesson on the Fibonacci Sequence with lots of hands-on manipulatives and coloring/cutting/gluing activities.

I'm a big Sudoku fan, so I had a blast doing an exercise in Grid Logic with my little ones and seeing how quickly they got it.

So out of the closet-full of fancy math manipulatives we own, what is my kids' favorite, you ask...  Well.. actually it's this:

Yes, really!  I hide little treats (like chocolate chips or even mini-erasers) underneath these Magic Number Cups  and then ask them little math problems.  According to my kids there is nothing more fun than flipping over the correct cup and claiming their reward.  Who knew?

I hope you enjoyed this little review of some of the Preschool Math Ideas that I've posted on my blog over the past year.  I love the fact that a lot of these games and explorations can be easily adapted for older kids we we can repeat them this year at a higher level.

UPDATE: I was so inspired by how much my kids enjoyed early math "games" that I created the La La Logic Critical Thinking Curriculum for 3-6 year olds, which includes online brain challenge games, printable worksheets, enrichment activities and more!

Be sure to check out my other blogoversary round ups, including:


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  1. These are great ideas. I'm sure my 4 year old son will enjoy them. Thanks for sharing on Creative Learning.

  2. What kid wouldn't love math with all these fun activities? These are amazing. Thanks for the list.

  3. These are terrific! .....and I want to play the Magic Number Cups too :)

  4. These are awesome!! I will be using some of these with my daughter. I never really liked math, elementary math wasn't bad, but beyond that, I despised it, so I think this will help make it fun for my daughter and fun for me to teach her!! Thank you so much for sharing. I found you on the Weekly Kids Co-Op.

  5. Cool ideas...this is a great list! I really like the fish grouping game. Pinning to my Preschool Math board.

  6. Tons of great ideas here! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  7. Pinning to my homeschool math board. Thanks for linking up to Preschool and Kindergarten Corner.

  8. So many great ideas! I'm featuring this tomorrow on The Sunday Showcase.

  9. So many great maths posts here!

    We have a special focus this week on maths and number posts at the Empty Your Archive link party, and I would absolutely love for you to link up a whole load of these posts - they're so good! Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

  10. Hi. Do you allow Pinning for Pintrest?

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  12. i think that is really good for every one. so regards to your for this wonderful!! I have truly enjoyed your blog and have gotten some great ideas/lessons about Math Games Online from you! I appreciate you making and sharing this resource (and all others:). I can't wait to share it with my team!

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  14. I'm not good in Math but these are great ideas how to handle it. Amazing! Thanks for sharing

  15. These are great ideas! I want to try this with my kids, they will learn while having fun. thanks a lot.


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