Our Favorite Math Activities of 2014

best preschool math activities Did you see your favorite alphabet activities in our Friday post? Check it out to aee all the alphabet activities that made our list. Today we are talking all about math. I love math and one of my absolutely most favorite things to do with it is to turn math into a game. Lots of math games made it onto this list of favorite math activities for kids because games are such a wonderful tool for developing mathematical skills.  Let’s see if your favorite is on the list

LEGO math lesson

  • This Lego Math Game was not only popular at our house, it was our most popular math activity of 2014! preschool math game
  • My kids love to hit things so when I can work that into a math game I pretty much feel like I have just won the lottery. This Count & Pound Math Game will be a huge hit at your house too!
  • Buggy and Buddy had a lot of great posts this year but I fell in LOVE with their Pete The Cat inspired Subtraction Game.
  • At Easter we did a fun math game that also worked as a egg decorating activity. Color by Number Eggs! gross motor number line
  • Our Outdoor Number Line was a wonderful way to take math outside and my kids LOVED it.
  • Frugal Fun 4 Boys has a rad little game called Fill The Cup that works on preschool math skills while having fun! math game with monsters
  • We wove math into a monster theme with this Monster Math Craft. I love that they worked on math skills while getting crafty!
  • This bead craft is actually a math game! Fun Bead & Roll post from PBS Parents.place value worksheet
  • Volunteering with 2nd graders inspired this Place Value Robot Activity and my then first grader adored it!
  • He liked this Pokemon Math activity even more.

Don’t miss tomorrow because we are sharing our favorite book lists!

best kids activities

Magnetic Sandcastle

snadpaper craft for kids Building sandcastles is tough , especially if you don’t live anywhere near a beach. This magnetic sandcastle activity is perfect for you no matter where you live. Not only are kids exploring the texture of the sandpaper they are exploring shapes and how they can work together to create something greater. Another side effect is the storytelling that might pop up like it did with my 4 year old. Her sandcastle was a story. If you don’t have a magnetic surface pick up a cookie sheet like we did for a dollar at Dollar Tree. I buy them 3 at a time.

Gather your materials. You will need some sandpaper, self adhesive magnetic sheets ( ours came from our friends at craftprojectideas.com ), scissors, a marker, and a magnetic surface. fine motor activity for kids

Start by drawing your shapes on the back of the sandpaper. Be careful thinner sand paper will show the marker through if you use a dark color like I did. A pencil may be a better choice. magnetic sandcastle blocks

Cut them out. magnetic sandcastle activity for kids

Add the magnets to the back. My little helper showed up at this stage wondering what I was up to and helped.

Peeling the backing off of these self adhesive magnets is RAD for little fingers still developing fine motor skills, it is also fantastic for concentration and building patience. fine motor sandcastle activity for kidsWe can’t expect our kids to develop ways to deal with frustration and patience if we never give them opportunities to face them. She got frustrated a few times and I said ” It’s tough, Mama is having a hard time too. ” that was it. If you think the frustration will block the whole activity step in but it’s OK for kids to try hard things and fail.

magnetic sand castle for kids

This zig zag piece was extra but she insisted on using it so we added magnets to it together.

Time to play.  sandcastle magnetic try activityShe was totally into it. I liked to see how carefully she was placing the pieces. ” They are rough on one side but not on the other mama!”  When my children make observations like that is when I jump on and try to add a little bit more of a lesson without breaking up their exploration. If they are silent I generally let them immerse themselves completely.fine motor tray activity for kids sandcastle When a comment like  that is made I might say something like what else feels rough like that? Or Do you like the feeling? Sparking more learning but using their observations as launching pad. sandcastle building tray activity for kids

Her creation was a pool with diving boards for sand fairies.

 

reading lists for kids

 

Need some books to go with this activity? Check out our Beach Books round up. Click here or on the image to be taken to the full round up with complete reviews of each book.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Egg Carton Math by Teach Preschool

{ Please welcome Deborah from Teach Preschool who has come to my aid and offered this great activity for you all today so I could ( and did) have a mostly laptop free vacation with my family. If you aren’t familiar with Deborah’s blog Teach Preschool go now because it’s amazing. I wish I could be a fly on her classroom wall and just learn from her. }

 

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

Start by making sure you are using clean egg cartons. You might even run the egg cartons through the dishwasher if you have any doubts. Next, look around the house and gather up a few sets of small objects that will fit inside each egg cup…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

I used small cars, buttons, pompoms, and soft blocks for my first set of egg carton math boxes and then set them out with the lids closed and just waited for my grandson to find them and want to open each of the cartons up to see what is inside…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

As young children are given the opportunity to explore an open ended process such as egg carton math – they are being exposed to such mathematical concepts as sorting, matching, counting, subtracting, adding, comparing, and contrasting…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

Perhaps the play looks like nothing more than putting something in and out of a box but if you look closely, you will see that the thinking wheels are turning and that is the first step towards genuine mathematical thinking…

Simple Egg Carton Math Games

To read more early learning tips from Deborah

 

Hop over to Teach Preschool!

Deborah Tall

Candy Corn Counting

Counting is fun, counting candy is even more fun!  This is a great thanksgiving themed math activity that promotes ” Checking your work” something that not only encourages kids to slow down ( something my son needs when doing tasks) but it also builds independence and confidence. Amazingly it wasn’t my kids who ate the candy after this activity was done… I can’t help it candy corn is so yummy! If you are not a fan of using candy for activities you can easily substitute pom poms or pony beads for the candy or make a turkey like the craft that inspired this activity.

  1. Gather your materials. I used a cheap cookie sheet with raised edges to keep the candy corn contained . Also some brown and green construction paper, scissors, tape and a marker. Oh and of course some candy corn.
  2. Start by cutting out the green husks. Please remember perfection is not the point, I don’t have time to spare and know you don’t either.
  3. Cut out the ear of corn.
  4. Tape to the cookie sheet.
  5. Add numbers. Try to add some easy and some more challenging. If it’s too easy it’s boring, too hard and frustration sets in, either way learning falls flat.
  6. Add the corn!
  7. Check your work.
  8. Next I flipped the husks over and wrote new numbers on, I added the corn and my son checked my work. I purposely made mistakes on two of the ears, and asked him how to fix them. He subtracted on one and added to the other. It was a great add on to a simple counting activity. I will be doing more “fix my math” activities in the near future because he loved that.