Dear parents and teachers, ever worried if learning Mathematics will be difficult to preschoolers? Indeed, Mathematics is hard for some children. To make it easier for them, games and fun should be there when learning Mathematics.
Here, I have a list to make it easier for teachers and even parents on what activities that you can do with the children to make Mathematics lesson for preschoolers become easier and more exciting. These activities are so much fun, and you can do them anywhere and anytime! Remember, learning is beyond the four walls of the classroom.
1- Memory Game
The first hands-on activity for Mathematics lesson in preschool is the memory game! You can twist this game as varies as you can. Here are the steps on how you can play memory game with the children.
- Prepare 12 cards with number 1 to 10 on them. (With 2 cards of 5 and 2 cards of 0)
- Shuffle the cards and arrange them on the floor.
- A child can flip 2 cards at once. If the cards that they flip can make 10, the cards become theirs. If not, the child will have to flip the card back.
- The children take turns in flipping the cards.
- The child which the most cards wins the game!
You just need a few pieces of paper and a marker pen, voila! You are ready to play. If you want to do this for your Mathematics lesson in preschool, ask the children to form a group. Remember folks, the more the merrier. (Actually, it will be easier for you to manage the class if you have lesser groups!)
2- Pizza Fractions
Who does not love pizzas? Before you bring the children to eat pizzas (the real one), maybe they can learn fraction with it first! With some visual aids, children will understand fractions better.
All you need if you want to do this to assist your Mathematics lesson in preschool are colourful paper plates, scissors and marker pen. Cut the plates and label them with the fractions that you want! Since you have a few colourful paper plates, you may want to ask your children to start mixing up the plates to form a whole!
If you do not have colourful paper plates, ask the children to colour them with different colours or else, you will end up with confusion which part of plate belongs to which. Colouring, pizza and Mathematics? What a perfect combination of hands-on activity to do with the children. Who knows learning fractions can make us so hungry?
3- Marshmallow Geometry
We have pizzas for fractions, but for shapes and geometry, we will have the most delicious and chewable treats, MARSHMALLOW! Recognising, tracing and naming shapes are basic foundations of learning about shapes in preschool. Building shapes with marshmallow, it is on another level of Mathematics lesson in preschool.
Just provide the children with toothpicks and start building your marshmallow geometry! Maybe after that, you can do make a “Smores Party” with the children.
4- Linking Cube
Linking cubes are also known as unifix cubes and snap cubes. Linking cubes are the best hands-on tool for Mathematics lesson in preschool, especially for children that have learning difficulties because counting becomes more concrete with this tool.
Below is the list of Mathematics lessons for preschool that you can conduct with linking cubes.
- Patterns & Sampling
- Problem Solving
- Addition & Subtraction
The list could go endless which make linking cubes as the best hands-on Mathematics activities for preschoolers. Parents, if you are reading this, you may use other objects such as LEGO or kuih lapis too!
5- Counting Sticks
One of the most basic activity for Mathematics between the children and their parents and teachers is counting. But, how to make this as one of the hands-on activities for preschoolers? The answer is… With counting sticks!
With counting sticks, not only the children will be able to count but also, they are able to associate numbers with objects and understand
the values of numbers. By using counting sticks, you are killing, not two, but three birds with one stone. If you do this as frequent as you can as one of Mathematic lessons in preschool, your children will master counting in no time! If you don’t have counting sticks, replace them with other objects as counters, small toys or bottle caps.
6- Compare, Compare it All!
The next hands-on activity for preschoolers could be an extended activity from a STEM project. Start a STEM project to build a functional weighing scale with your children. You may use recyclable items that you can find around your house. Once you have a DIY weighing scale, change the activity into a Mathematics lesson without your little ones realizing it. Ask them to weight different objects and LEARN to compare objects with sizes and their weights.
7- Board Games
Who said that board games are all about fun? No, if the board games involve rolling the dice, it is Mathematics. With dice, children will be able to master subitizing skill and give chances for the children to practice their numbers (counting and associating number with how many
moves should they make) while playing the board games. This is a fun hands-on idea Mathematics activity for preschoolers because all they want to do is playing! Playing and learning, perfection!
Do not stop making this as one of your activities for Mathematics lessons in preschool (whenever the lessons involve numbers) but encourage the parents to have a game night with the children. Mathematics really help in strengthening the bonding between the family members. Who will ever guess that?
8- Gummy Bears
Gummy bears! Do you know that there are a few hands-on Mathematics activities that we can do with the preschoolers? If you don’t, let me enlighten you. The first hands-on activity is patterning. It is important for the children to learn patterning because this will help the children to be able to do prediction, which is very important thing in Mathematics.
The second hands-on activity that you can do to extend your Mathematics lessons in preschool is sorting. Give the children a bowl full of gummy bears and ask them to sort the gummy bears according to the colours. Sorting is such a simple activity however it is critical for the children to learn sorting because it is the foundation of the children to understand that there are same and different objects and able categorize them. When they are older, they will be sorting number sets.
The third one, is counting. Counting how many gummy bears that you can eat in 1 day seems fun to me! Eating them is hands-one activity too! If you do not have gummy bears, use jellybeans instead, they taste good too.
Graphing is always overlooked by the parents, and sometimes teachers too! With graphing, the children can do counting, sorting and grasp the concept greater than and less than. Graphing helps the children to visualize all these.
It is easy to do this as one of the hands-on Mathematics activities for preschoolers. All you need are tables and objects or food! With graphing, there are a few graphs that children can learn which are picture graph (pictograph) and bar graph.
10- Ting ting
Image Credit: https://beafunmum.com/
Yes, you read that right! It is time for Ting-Ting game. In English, we call it hopscotch but let’s be more traditional. With ting-ting game, you can practice addition and subtraction. You will be very surprised how the children love ting-ting!
To play this, draw the boxes with a chalk outdoor or make the boxes with tapes if you want to play indoor. Then, write few numbers in the boxes.
Give a sum of numbers and ask your children to jump in the boxes to get the total number you give them. The rule is as easy as ABC, if the child jump in the wrong box, other children will get the chance to play ting-ting. If it gets easier for the children, do subtraction or increase the value of the numbers written in the boxes.
Teachers, do you know that most of these hands-on activities have been implemented in one of our programmes, Euler Maths. Not only that, we ensure that each of our lesson are equipped with numerous tools to encourage fun hands-on activities while learning and exploring Mathematics lessons in preschool.
Indeed, Play, Explore and Learn is our tagline.