for ages 3 and up with Adult Participation and Supervision
Preschool education plays an essential role in early childhood development. Math is everywhere at this stage even when children and parents aren't trying to educate. Counting stairs, fingers and carrots on a plate all contribute to the academic growth as kids move onto kindergarten. This activity shows how we can explore simple math using everyday items such as beads, buttons, blocks, etc.
Beads, buttons, coins, blocks, pom poms, small toys, food or any other countable object you can find:) Dollar stores are great places to look for little things like these but also just rummaging around the house:) We worked with the Melissa and Doug Flower Power Beads!
There is really no wrong way to explore math with your preschooler(except maybe drilling them on math facts). Here are a few things we did. Use some sort of box or container. Place a number of objects into the box. Let the child see how many there are and count them together. Then close the box.
Let your child sneak one more object into the box. Ask them “How many are in the box now?”. Once they guess, open it and count together. You can increase the difficulty at any time, follow their lead:)
Another activity we did was stacking! This is great fine motor work and gives the opportunity to count, and compare. Here we talked about “Tall, short, taller, tallest, shorter”, we practiced counting, and used positional words like “on top, on bottom, next to, up and down”
Comparing attributes is always beneficial for preschoolers. Here we compared size. With other objects you could put them in order from biggest to smallest(like coins or blocks). Here Ally(2) is pointing to the “smaller” flower.
Pattern work is another skill easily practiced with small objects. My son(6) Made this pattern “block, block, flower” The simplest pattern to practice would be and “AB” pattern like “penny, dime, penny, dime, penny, dime”
Remember to give your child a chance to ask you questions and quiz you! They love turning the tables and some times learn even more being the teacher than the student! Example: Let them stack two different towers and then ask YOU which one is taller, or two piles and ask you which is more? Then you have the opportunity do demonstrate how you would figure it out, “Hmmmm, this pile looks bigger but I had better count to be sure. I was right! This pile has 2 more than that one!”
Always supervise your child around small objects that pose a chocking hazard!
Samantha is a stay at home mom of five children under the age of five. She teaches preschool from her home and loves it! She loves coming up with unique ways for her children and students to learn because when kids are having fun they learn so much better! You can find more activities and fun stuff at Samantha's blog Little Hands Big Work.