UFO Math Tray Activity {FREE PRINTABLES}

math tray actiities preschool  space themeFor a while now my daughter has been writing out numbers on anything she can. My mother’s day card included the numbers from 1-10 after her name. I had a feeling her next question would be how to read and spell the number words. I  was right. For days, she asked me how to spell the words and I would reply with what do you think? That worked a few times, but it eventually frustrated her. I wrote out the words for her and she used it as reference. Soon she was recognizing the words in stories so when I saw these little aliens I knew I wanted to use them for counters and I decided to make two sets of number mats for this tray activity one with digits and one with the number words. The reason I am telling you this long drawn out story is to illustrate that this activity followed her lead. There is no rush to teach specific concepts like this but don’t ignore your child interests either. Print both out and use them as they fit with your child. If you can’t find these little alien guys you can laminate the cards and draw them on with dry erase markers!

Gather your materials. You will need the UFO Math mat cards, some alien counters, scissors, and contact paper or a laminator ( you lucky dog!).math mat UFO

Print out the UFO Math Mats here – click on the image, save, and print.

Digits  1-4

ufo number cards digits 1

 

 

 

 

5-8

ufo digits 2

 

9-12

ufo digits 3

Number Words

one – four

ufo number cards

 

two – eight

ufo number cards sheet 2

 

nine – twelve  ufo number cards sheet 3

Print them out. If you think your child needs more support with counting add dots to the mats with a marker before you laminate or use contact paper to protect them. Cut out.free printable math tray activity

Pop them on the tray with the little aliens ( did I mention these glow in the dark? ).math tray activity

Read and count. UFO math I didn’t give her all the mats just a mix to play with.UFO math printables

After she counted them out she tried to balance them and  make towers with them too.

alien math for kids

LEGO Game – Roll, Build, and Create!

DIY LEGO game for kids LEGO is huge at our house. Even if some of their marketing to girls efforts miss the mark ( did you read this?), the toy is still amazing for boys and girls. LEGO is creative as well as great for spatial and fine motor skills. This LEGO game is super simple and my kids play it often building on to their creations or making new ones. What I love about this game that wasn’t really part of the design was that it’s a great way to kickstart LEGO creations. When kids feel like building but don’t know what to build this game acts as kindling and helps start the fire for bigger ideas. Of course players are also working on subitizing skills ( recognizing amounts without counting – on dominoes, dice, tally marks etc…)  and number recognition. If that is your goal you could use multiple dice for older children and have the add or subtract and match up the sum or difference to the numbered sections. It’s so versatile!

Gather your materials. You will need some LEGO or DUPLO , a divided tray or individual bowls, a die, and a permanent marker.

lego game for kids

Write the numbers 1-6 on the divided tray. Don’t worry you can use a dry erase marker to remove the permanent marker when you are done playing. boost creativity with lego

Fill the sections of your tray with different types of LEGO bricks. You can have your children help you sort them as well. Sorting is an important skill so any time you have to practice is worthwhile. I included a lot of mini figures because in my experience kids tend to create more stories with the figures and my daughter loves to make stories with her LEGO.

lego game for children

Once they are all sorted it’s time to play. Use the center section to roll the die and whatever number they roll is the type of brick they get to build with. lego game for preschool

She was into it immediately.lego games for kids Soon she had an audience and hearing her explain the game to her dad was awesome. lego game for families Understanding multiple steps is important and when she taught her dad she had all the steps down pat! LEGO roll and build math game

One of the great things about this activity is that there is no strict ending point. Kids can stop when they feel their creation is complete or pop it to the side and come back another day. Ours is STILL in our sunroom two weeks after getting it out. I find both my kids playing with it most days.

 

Shamrock Number Line Scavenger Hunt

number line activity This number line scavenger hunt activity took only minutes to throw together and while we used shamrocks for a St.Patrick’s Day theme you could do this any time of year with any theme your child likes.  If they are still learning number order write the numbers on the tape and have them match the numbers, if 20 is too much try with 5 , 10 or 15. This is such an easy activity to adjust to your child’s ability and to repeat over and over. This would be a fun group activity as well, have each child search for one number and place it on the line.

Gather your materials. You will need something to write numbers on like foam shamrocks, shapes, or post it notes. You will also need some painter’s tape and a marker. st. patrick's day math

Start by writing your numbers on the shapes. number line activity

Next lay out the tape and write the first and the last number, for us that was 1 and 20. Make dots of write the numbers in between. math activities

Hide the numbers all around your house! math activity for preschool

Invite your little mathematician to search for the numbers and place them on the line. Give them a hand if needed but also give them time to figure it out on their own best they can before you step in.

She searched for a handfulmath scavenger hunt then placed them on the number line and then went back for more. math scavenger hunt

I never get bored of watching my children or my students make great connections and I was wowed watching my youngest find the right spots of all these numbers without any help . math activity for children

She thought she had found them all but there were a few missing. A quick trip into the kitchen and she popped them right on the line! math activity

All done and pretty darn proud ! number line

Fraction Game { with connect 4 } – Learning After School

fraction connect four My son as been asking a lot about fractions lately. Since he hasn’t done a whole bunch about fractions in school yet I wanted to keep it simple. The best part is that you can adjust this idea to your child’s specific learning goals. My goal with this simple fraction game was to have him think in faractions. I wanted him to think of the game pieces as thirds and quarters and what that means. That is why you only need 3 in a row to win if they are thirds but need 4 if they are quarters. Although we didn’t have other fractions included in the game pieces we did talk about them. Next time we play I plan adjusting the way we play to include a few 1/2, 2/3, and 3/4 pieces.

He beat me both times, fair and square but that’s just a side note. Here is how we made and played this fraction game.

Gather your materials. You will need a connect four game ( affiliate link), some masking tape or small labels, a marker, and a kid who wants to win at everything.connect 4

Cut small pieces of tape to fit on the inside of the tokens. Write 1/3 on half and 1/4 on the rest. Make sure it’s split evenly between the two colors.fraction connect four game pieces

Invite your competitive math genius to come play!fraction game for after school

The goal of the game is to make a whole by lining up 4 quarters or 3 thirds of the same color in a row.fraction connect 4 for elementary kids

It takes some strategy …fraction connect 4 for kids

And he won!

Then he won again and again,  I wish I could say that I let him win but Mama don’t play like that!fractions fun

29 Ways To Make Math More Fun For Kids

fun math activities I hated math for so long that I had to hold back tears on my first day of math class at Teacher’s College. I was so nervous to be back in a math class after years of avoiding it. That feeling was so terrifying that I’ve made it part of my mission as a mom and teacher to make fun math activities so that my children and students won’t find themselves so terrified by a subject that they are holding back tears just thinking about it. Math is fun. Last year I spent one day a week as a math docent for 2nd grade and created hands on ways for those kids to practice math and this year I am back to the little tiny guys with my 2 and 3 year old class. This list of fun math has toddler math activities through to elementary ideas I brought home from being a docent. If your child already has some anxiety about math like I did don’t tell them you have a fun new math activity to do, omit the math from the title and just say game or activity or craft project. Don’t put up the wall before you get them interested.

Remember that like reading math is one of those subjects that really does benefit from a lot of practice. Using fun math activities like these you don’t have to resort to drill and kill activities although I admit as kids get older math is one of the places where I might make a little room for some flash cards but not in the preschool years!

 Fun Math Activities For Preschool

math game for valentine's day gross motor

I have all of preschool together because some 3 year olds latch on to math early and some 5 year olds don’t show real interest until later on. Find games and activities that look like they would interest your kids don’t worry about how old my kids look in the photos. There is no checklist that every little developing human hits in order. Fun means not too challenging to be frustrating and not too easy to be boring. It might require some trial and error – but if you read through the posts you can probably figure out which will work for your kids.

fun math activities

Lego Math Game

math game count and pound
Count & Pound Math Game

preschool activity
Counting Around The House

candy corn counting math activity for halloween
Candy Corn Counting

button mural finishing the whole things
Button Numbers Mural

easter egg game for kids
Color By Number Easter Eggs

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Sort The Mail Math Activity

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Monster Math Game * Great for all ages!

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Shell Memory Game with Numbers fun math activities for kids
Monster Math Tray

valentine's day math activity
Count & Match Math Game

dirty socks number match and fine motor activity
Laundry Line Math Match Game

shape house shape hunt for kids
Shape Hunt Find & Color

hot chocolate math for kids
Hot Chocolate Math * easy to adapt to any level.

 

 

Fun Math Activities for School Age Kids

number line math for kindergarten and first grade

These games and activities were all created with kids in the Kindergarten through 2nd grade age range. Does that mean your preschooler can’t do them? No. Check them out and see if you can find something rad for your little math whiz or adapt something to fit her interests.

valentine's day math for kids

Valentine’s Day Math – Jar Of Hearts

gross motor number line
Outdoor Number Line

rp_math-valentines-day-activity-455x672.jpg
Make A Valentine Math Game & Craft

fun math activities
Secret Code Math

fun math activities
Shoot & Add Nerf Gun Math

fun math activities for kids
Tally Mark Dominoes & Speed Racer Game

kindergarten math
Make Math Drills Fun- 2 Activities For Kindergarten

math learning center idea
Lock & Key Math fun math activities
Candy Apple Tree Math

fun math activities
Connect The Dots With Math fun math activities
Water Balloon Math

color by nymber working together
7 Ways To Use This Simple Color By Numbers

fun math
Place Value Robot

rp_pokemon-math-cover-368x750.png
Pokemon Math Activity

fun math activities for kids
Outdoor Math Ideas for Kids