Tally Mark Dominoes & Speed Racer Math Games

tally mark math gamesLearning after school at our house has to be fast paced and fun. These math games are both. They are also a cinch to make and frugal too.  Subitizing is the ability to recognize an amount without counting. It’s not a skill most of us were specifically taught in school but in recent years it’s been added to most elementary math curriculums. As the name of my blog suggests I am not a huge fan of flash cards but for some things that require automatic recall they make sense. Subitizing is one of those skills that requires automatic recall but flash cards aren’t the only way you can work on the skill. Games like these are great too.

Gather your materials . You will need some sentence strips ( using the back side) , scissors, and a permanent marker.

tally mark math

Cut your sentence strips in half. I used 2 colors but you don’t have to. Draw a line down the middle of each card and a tally mark on one side , number on the other. These should not match. Let the marker dry completely before playing.tally mark dominoes game

The first game we played is a variation of dominoes. tally mark math gameWe placed one card on the table and split the others among the players. Then we took turns building by matching up the tally mark amounts to the numbers. tally marks game for kindergarten and first gradeThe first person that had all their cards down won. tally mark & digit dominoes

The next game was my son’s favorite. It’s a head to head speed game. Here are the instructions: Shuffle the cards. Place two down so the tally mark is facing the finish line ( in our case the end of the table) . Place the other cards in a pile face down and flip. When a match is made place it down end to end and keep going. The first person to reach the finish wins. tally mark speed racer

Practicing math at home does not need to be extra worksheets all the time. Make these simple games and you can play and practice at the same time.

math games are fun

Bug Math Printable { Learning After School }

math worksheet for kindergartenMy son loves math. Adores it. What he doesn’t love is writing practice. So even though this printable worksheet I made ( a rare thing in itself) is a math review my goal was actually getting him to write and specifically to write smaller. You may notice that my son looks a little younger in this post and you are right we did this 6 months ago just as he was finishing up Kindergarten. He is a good student but handwriting has always been a struggle so to mix in a little practice with something he loves like math is a good way to make use of a little after school time. Homework may be all you have time to do and please do not push your kids to do more if they are given homework often or a heavy load. That is your priority. These Learning After School activities are meant for times when you have free time. They are short but worthwhile and hopefully fun!

Gather your materials. You will need a Bug Math Printable ( click for the sheet) , a pencil with good eraser and a kiddo ready to learn.

Go over the first example with them and then let them at it. I made this sheet specifically for my son. I included many easy bits but spelling out eight as well as how small the spaces were to write the answers were a good challenge. I am such a firm believer in balancing success and challenge to engage kids. bug math worksheet for kindergarten

Review their answers. If something is wrong don’t correct it immediately. Instead say something like ” Does this one look right to you? ” if they dismiss it as right ask them to explain their answer to you or try again. As you can see I suggest encouraging “kid spelling” also known as invented or phonetic spelling. Allowing children to use their existing knowledge about letter sounds to construct words will help them become better spellers in the long run. When my son specifically asks how something is spelled I will ask him to try first and then walk him through it. Some words can’t be spelled phonetically but giving kids the chance to try is really beneficial.

math and invented spelling

Simple and quick little bits of practice pay off just make sure that before you do an activity like this that your child has a clear understanding of the concepts presented. I prefer to use independent activities like this for review and reinforcement. Worksheets are not my style of teaching and you won’t find a lot of them in my preschool materials. However for older kids who are eager to do short independent activities like this they aren’t a bad choice as long as they aren’t the only choice. For some outdoor math activities check out these ideas.

Need some bug books to go with the worksheet? Here are our favorites!

19 books about bugs

Check out these books about bugs with mini reviews of each here.

 

 

 

Sort The Mail – Math Activity For Kids

mail sorting number recognitionPretend play is one of my favorite ways to teach. Kids love to pretend and test their limits within boundaries of make believe. Combining pretend play with math is a great way to challenge your kids without making them feel like it’s a test. Pretending to be a postal worker gives the task of sorting meaning and with that meaning their learning is deeper and better retained. It’s also really fun. I left this set up for a few weeks and my kids, especially my daughter played with it over and over.

Gather your materials. You will need some baskets ( 3 for a buck at the dollar store), envelopes, labels, a tray or big basket, and markers. Math Mail - kindergarten math activity

Start by writing out numbers on the labels. mail math for preschool and kindergarten

Next put them on the baskets. These will be used to match the numbers on the envelopes or the equations on the envelopes depending on your child’s level of understanding. mail math

Write out the equations / numbers to match with the baskets. I did both, writing equations for my son and single numbers for my daughter. I had a few numbers I thought might be tricky for her and some equations that my son would have to stop and really think about. mail math for kids

Set it all up!  mail math for grade 1My son needed no guidance at all he sat down , read the little sign I added for fun , and got to sorting. Those few tricky ones slowed him down a bit but not enough to frustrate him or stall the fun. mail sorting math lesson

My daughter loved this . I switched out the envelopes with the equations with the envelopes with single numbers and she started sorting. mail math activity sortingUnlike her brother she was totally vocal saying each number as she recognized it and sorted it into the correct spot. For little ones like her ( she is just 3) this is really important so we can step in if they need help. If they aren’t don’t push it , keep playing and modeling. mail math idea

To take this further you can write letters with the numbers on them as well and add another layer of learning to the play. If you like this you will love our other post office play ideas like Alphabet Mail, Letter Sorting and of course our DIY Mailbox.

 

 

Math & Science Outside

math science outdoor activitiesLearning outside is magic. Do you remember when your teacher would look out the classroom window and then say ” Get your things we are going outside!” BEST DAY EVER! That is why I love getting my kids outside to learn. One of the big struggles at our house is finding time to do these activities with my son who is in public school for most of the day. The way we do it is to pack a lot of learning into short but valuable activities. Help your kids boost their interest and skills in math and science by having fun outside! Playful Learning Ecademy who is sponsoring this post has a wonderful eCourse called Backyard Science that we have been having fun with. I thought I would bring together some of our favorite outdoor math & science activities in one spot for an easy resource. Check out some of our very favorites below.

Math

math outside for kids

Numbers in Nature

When we do scavenger hunts of any sort I need them to be adaptable for both my kids. When my son is doing a less active activity my daughter is less apt to want to be a part of it but once he’s running around searching for something she can’t wait to get in mix. Because of that this activity is easily adaptable to a wide range of levels.

  • You will need some fun felt leaves , a sharpie and a backyard or park where your kids can pick things.
  • Add numbers to the leaves. Even though this is for a 3 and 6 year old I still kept the numbers small. For the 3 year old her task was to recognize the number and find that number of things in the garden.  For the 6 year old I put two leaves together and his task would be to do mental math ( why I kept the numbers small) and add the numbers together then represent the sum with natural items found in the yard.

Fresh air + numbers + exploring the yard = serious fun and learning!

4 More Outside Math Activities 

Shoot & Add Nerf Gun Math Outside
Hose Down Shapes
Water Balloon Math
Bug Hunt & Count

Science

math and science outside for kids

Sound Map

When I think of Backyard Science I think of going outside to turn over rocks or doing giant vinegar and baking soda volcanoes. There is so much more for kids to explore though from colors, sounds, habitats and yes messy gooey science too. In the Playful Learning Ecademy course kids become naturalists and use their own backyard as their lab. What I love most about these activities are the videos that support them. The activities are short but valuable and the planning is done for you. It’s a perfect combination for mindful but busy families.

After school one day my son chose to do the Sound Map from Backyard Science.

  • We grabbed some paper, a clip board and a pencil.
  • He plopped down in a good spot in our back yard and put an x on the paper to represent himself.
  • Then he listened. He made marks and wrote what he heard in different places in relation to where he was sitting.

I was so fascinated by how still he was. He is 6 and wiggles constantly as most do but to see him still and focused was thrilling. We talked about what he recorded and went to see if we could find any of the sources of the sounds, well the natural ones. We knew where the lawnmower sound was coming from. This ended up opening up a dialog about conservation since we could hear more man made sounds than nature ones and we live in a semi rural area.

4 More Outside Science Activities

Squirt Gun Science
Cutting Nature
Snow Science
Color Hunt in Nature

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What math or science activity do you do with your kids outside? Share your favorites in comments!

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This post was sponsored by Playful Learning Ecademy  – I love working with them because their eLessons are rad and my son loves doing them.

Shoot & Add { Nerf Gun Math For Kids }

nerf gun learning activityThis outdoor math for kids can be done with beanbags, baseballs, water balloons… or Nerf guns like we used. My mantra is to use what they love to make them love learning and that is what we did. Nerf guns are big news at our house right now because I just relented and let my kids have them. Using the darts are an outside only activity although they are loved less for their shooting ability and more for a pretend play prop. Either way they are the bright shiny new and novel item at our house so I used them to make learning fun after school. My goal with all the activities in the Learning After School series is to make the activities for school age kids that are educational without making them feel like homework. Here is what we did with this math for kids activity and yes they LOVED it!

Gather your materials. You will need some plastic cups, a permanent marker, something to use to write down the tally, a nerf blaster , and eye protection. If you don’t want to use a Nerf gun you could use a bean bag or ball.  math activity for kids

Start by writing out numbers on the cups. We did 1-6 but you could number them anything you like. Set them up in a pyramid. nerf gun counting and adding

Get your glasses on and get ready! nerf gun backyard math for kids

Knock those numbers down!!nerf gun math gross motor activity

Add all the numbers on the cups together and record on the chalkboard. nerf gun math tally up

This activity was made for my 6 year old not my 3 year old but so when she shot them down I had her simply identify the numbers on the cups. I am planning on doing this again with her using a bean bag instead of a Nerf gun and the goal of hitting specific cups down. I will post it when I do. nerf gun math number recognition

Set the cups back up and go again. nerf collage 1Add the tally up. I did the addition for my daughter but got her to write some. My son did his own writing. It’s not a ton of practice but it’s a little something in the midst of a fun activity so I will take it! nerf gun addition

Like I said this was designed for my almost 7 year old not my 3 year old. She did well with it and had fun but I would never use this activity with a group of 3 year olds – nerf guns while safe to play with still hurt if you get one in the eye or at close range which is why they had safety glasses on. You know best what your kids are ready for but I just wanted to be clear that this is meant for our big kids !