Math is fun for preschoolers, but not all activities are equally effective. The problem with some math games is that they rely on memorization and don’t actually help little ones develop number sense. Activities that allow preschoolers to explore and experience numbers at the same time encourage understanding of the concepts; and that, in turn, makes math more interesting for kids in the long run.
Math is fun for preschoolers, but not all activities are equally effective. The problem with some math games is that they rely on rote memorization and don’t actually help little ones develop number sense. Activities that allow preschoolers to explore and experience numbers at the same time encourage understanding of the concepts; and that, in turn, makes math more interesting for kids in the long run.
Some great ways to help preschoolers learn to recognize numbers include:
Number puzzles: Number puzzles provide children with an opportunity to identify numbers and then match them up with a corresponding symbol. This activity helps them understand that there’s a relationship between counting and matching a number to its symbol.
Sorting: Sorting is another activity that can be done anywhere and with anything! Kids can sort numbers, their toys by color or size, or they can sort socks as they’re folding laundry. This activity teaches preschoolers to recognize patterns as well as giving them practice identifying symbols and quantities of items being sorted.
Number-Line Hopscotch: Number-line hopscotch is a simple twist on a classic game. To play, use tape or chalk to make a number line on the floor, starting with zero and ending in 100. Then, have your child hop from number to number as they count out loud. This activity allows kids to practice counting while also learning about what comes next in the sequence of numbers.
Write out numbers with sidewalk chalk and have your child jump from one to the next.
Fill plastic eggs with objects (buttons, cheerios) and use the number on each egg to determine how many should be inside.
Use a large cardboard box to cut out a number of holes according to its number. Let your toddler explore counting by sticking her hands through each hole as she counts them out loud.
Have your child practice writing numbers using shaving cream spread across a cookie sheet or a clear shower curtain hanging over an easel.
Make a game where you hide numbers around the house and then have your child find them and put them in order from least to greatest.
Set up an egg carton filled with marbles so that each marble represents a
Counting Games: Counting is a building block for all future math concepts. Preschoolers can count anything from their shoes to the cars in a parking lot. Repetition helps preschoolers learn to recognize numbers, but using different types of objects helps them see how counting can be applied in everyday life.
Place Value: Place value is a concept that some kids don’t begin learning until they reach first grade. Learning at an early age gives children a strong foundation for more learning in the future. Simple games such as placing dominoes or pennies into rows of 10 can introduce preschoolers to this important concept.
Pattern Recognition: Recognizing patterns leads to understanding how numbers work together in equations and formulas. Preschoolers can create patterns with just about anything, from buttons to paper clips to plastic cups or shapes cut from construction paper. They can also use pattern blocks to create designs.
Make a number book: Let your child draw pictures of things that he can count. Help him cut them into cards. He can glue the cards onto pages and make a book showing his artwork and counting practice.
Play the telephone game with numbers: Have your child start the telephone game by saying a number to you, then you say it to another person in the family and so on, until the number has gone around in a circle. This activity builds counting skills and helps your child learn that numbers are spoken aloud in sequence.
Introduce your preschooler to Arabic numerals: this is done by spraying shaving cream onto a mirror or window pane so he can write numbers with his fingers or even paint them with a paintbrush if you want to get messy!
Practice one-to-one correspondence: you can do this by having your preschooler count out how many spoons you need for dinner, or how many plates are needed at snack time, etc.
Conclusion : Preschool math games that focus on number recognition are more effective than activities that require memorization, because they actually help little ones learn to understand the concepts. Number recognition activities include counting and place value, as well as exploring shapes and patterns.