The word math can bring up anxiety for some parents causing them to avoid math activities. However, math with preschoolers is simple and fun; not to mention extremely important!
Collect items of various colors, but make sure you have several items of each color. Colored pom-poms work great for this activity. Next, lay out pieces of construction paper that match the colors of items you have collected. Ask your preschooler to sort the items by color.
Using the same items from the sorting activity above, show your preschooler how to create simple patterns. It is best to begin with a simple AB pattern (i.e. red, blue, red, blue, red, blue) and then move on to more complicated patterns over time (i.e. AAB: red, red, blue, red, red, blue). You can easily scaffold this activity by providing a model for the pattern and then gradually moving towards your preschooler creating the pattern independently without a model.
One to One Correspondence
This activity can be done with a variety of items, which makes set up easy. Draw a ten frame, boxes, circles or x’s on a piece of paper and collect ten small items. Your drawing should include ten spaces. Your preschooler will roll a game die, count the number of dots, and count that many items onto the markings on the paper you prepared. You can alternately use a die with numbers, instead of dots to practice number recognition. Once your preschooler has mastered counting to ten, increase the difficulty by adding another ten spaces and counting to twenty.
Many popular board games include rolling a game die and counting the number of spaces to move. This is a great way to incorporate one to one correspondence, counting, and social skills without your little one even realizing they are doing math!
Hopefully, these activities will help create a base for your preschoolers future as a mathematician without creating any anxiety for mom and dad!
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