Preschool Math Games
The Integration of Numbers
Preschool is an excellent opportunity for children to learn basic number and counting skills. At this age, since children learn best through experience, try playing some of these preschool math games as a way of teaching children fundamental math skills that they will carry throughout their lives. If numbers are integrated at an early age, it will help children later on in their educational lives
Preschool math games don’t need to be complicated to be effective. Start simple, by counting the number of people in the room. Count slowly at first, referencing a chart on the wall with the numbers printed on it.
One Button, Two Buttons, Three Buttons…
Preschool math games can also incorporate the notion of sorting and grouping like objects together while counting. For this sorting game, bring in a number of different small objects, such as buttons, marbles or pasta noodles. Have the children sort the objects into piles of similar things.
After the sorting is complete, the piles can also be broken down into smaller groups by size or by color. As this point, basic addition and subtraction skills can be introduced. For example, if a child has five buttons and gives two to a friend, how many buttons remain?
When looking for preschool math games, it’s important to include games that familiarize children with what numbers look like so they can begin to make the association between the printed number 2 and the concept of the number 2. For this game called “Number Match”, give each child a small card with a number between 1 and 10 printed on it.
Select one of the numbers and place a large card on the floor with that number printed on it. Ask everyone with that number to perform an action such as jump, hop on one foot, or touch their toes. For example, if the number 4 is placed on the ground, all the children with the matching card must jump four times. After they have completed their action, the children place their smaller cards on the floor beside the larger card.
Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes
Learning about different amounts of money is another key aspect of a preschooler’s mathematics experience. This simple money game allows children to learn about the different values assigned to each coin, and introduces the notion of making a purchase.
To begin, each child rolls one die. They get the number of pennies of the number shown on the dice. Go around the circle three times so that each child gets a chance to accumulate some pennies. As soon as they have five pennies, they can trade them in for a nickel, or ten pennies for a dime.
After the rolling is complete, children can make a trip to the “store”, where small items and candies are available for purchase, based on their earnings in the game. If you don’t want to use real coins, try using paper money from a board game like Monopoly.