Lego Math Game For Preschool

lego math roll and build gameDo you know what subitizing is? A lot of people do not and even though we all do it.  When I was studying how to elementary teach math I never learned this it wasn’t something that was focused on but it is now. The easiest way to describe what subitizing is , is to think of it as the numerical equivalent to sight words. It is the ability to recognize total amounts without counting. Tally marks, dice, even fingers are great ways to practice the skill. This Lego math game is great for beginners because it only works subitizing numbers from 1-6. My daughter is our littlest math whiz and loves all things numbers so she was game and dove right in. We played a bunch of times since the game itself can go pretty quickly!  Check out the tutorial below for ways to adapt this game for older children as well.

Gather your materials. You will need a regular die, 12 DUPLO or LEGO bricks, a sharpie, and a tray or wide box to keep the die subitizing game

Number your bricks 1-6 with the sharpie. Don’t worry it will come off with a dry erase marker math for preschool math

Invite your game player and explain the rules – roll an amount , subitize, and find the matching number.

All the bricks are in a loose pile.leho math game for preschool and kindergarten

Roll the die and recognize the amount – say it out loud.Find the brick with that number on math dice game

Let the other player roll and repeat the subitizing lesson

Keep rolling until one person has built their stack and placed it in brick math game

If you roll an amount you already have skip you don’t grab a brick.

The player who has built their stack first wins.Lego subitizing game for prek

I won the first game and she was not happy. When my kids get upset about me beating them I calmly tell them they can have another chance at beating me if they want to play again. It doesn’t always work but it works more than it doesn’t. Children get excited and losing is disappointing just getting mad at them for being disappointed won’t help. Acknowledge the disappointment and offer some help or ask them how they can get the result they want… practice, play again, take a breather and come back and try again.



Color By Number Easter Eggs

easter egg game for kids Math and art work well together with this simple game made for decorating Easter eggs. For kids who love art it’s a fun way to mix some math into something they like and for little math whizzes it gets them into a little art too! You could use real hard boiled and cooled eggs but we used craft ones from Walmart so our finished eggs could be brought out every Easter.

Gather your materials. You will need some craft eggs, permanent markers, some masking tape, and some dice.easter egg math game supplies

Start by adding numbers to your markers. I couldn’t find our masking tape so I used paper and taped papers with numbers on ( masking tape would be way faster) making sure that you use numbers that will be rolled.easter egg math game for kids

Time to play!

easter egg math game for easterRoll and count.easter egg math game for kids drawing

Color using the marker with the number you rolled. I let my daughter color as much as she wanted with each color but you could set a timer to keep things moving if need be.

Roll, count and color  again. easter egg math game for preschoolUsing dice doesn’t only work on counting as children get familiar with them they will start subitizing which is the ability to know an amount without counting. My daughter did it with the dice much to my surprise. She knew the individual amounts but then counted the dots to find out the sum. Older children could take it a step further simply adding the two amounts instead of counting all the dots. You could also use other operations like subtraction or multiplication for more able kids.easter egg math game for little kids

She adored this and completely covered her first egg then continued to play and play making even more.

Valentine’s Day Math Activity

FREE valentines day printable I wasn’t sure what to title this activity because it’s a math game that results in and Valentine’s Day craft. You play the game then you can pass the finished heart on to someone you love. This is perfect for Valentine’s Day parties because the kids are engaged and learning but there is still something cute to take home. You can make your own game board or print out ours for free here.

Gather your materials. You will need the heart game boards, some dice, heart stickers, and scissors. math game for valentines day

The rules of the game are simple. You roll the dice and add the two numbers together. If you have that number on your heart you cover it with a sticker. If you are having a hard time getting the higher numbers add a third die if time is short. Similarly if you are having a tough time getting smaller numbers simply use one die. valentine's day math game printable

My daughter was so into this game. Simple addition like this is really starting to stick with her and she was eager to show off her counting skills. math game FREE printable

My son thought it was for babies. He is great at math and it was too easy. I thought he’d still want to play but I missed the mark on this one for him. Instead of forcing him to play after a long day at school I told him to cover all the numbers and cut it out. So he did. In our house you have to do your homework but activities like this aren’t a must. FREE math game printable

While he was cutting my littlest math whiz was rolling away solo and loving it. MATH printable for valentines dayI did have to remove one die to finally roll that number two. But she did it! All the numbers were covered . math game for kindergarten valentines day

After she was done I cut the heart out for her and they are on our fridge ( you can see them in this post from last week ). math game for vday

What do you have planned for Valentine’s Day? I think we are going to have heart shaped tortilla pizzas and watch a movie together.

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

Candy Apple Math Game For Kids

use candy for math Candy is a great motivator. It’s not the main motivator I want to use but from time to time it’s novelty is useful and a fun break from more everyday things. This is a simple math game for kids that works on sorting, estimation ,and counting. When working with kids and edibles my rule is that if you do not sneak any you get a small pile at the end of the activity. My son is a rule follower by nature and did this as we have in the past. His 3 year old sister did not. Every child is different but that rule has worked for me over the years much more often than not. Have pom poms or buttons on hand if you need to swap out or prefer not to use candy at all.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a sheet of paper with three trees on it ( you can print mine here) , cookie sheets to keep the candies from rolling away, candies ( our natural dyed red is sorta wine colored but the kids didn’t bat an eye), a small dish for each player, and a jar with a lid. candy apple tree math for preschool
  2. Give each child a sheet with three trees and a small dish. Shake up the jar with all 3 colors of candies in it and pour some into each child’s dish. candy apple tree math
  3. Have them guess which tree will have the most apples on it by estimating which color is the most prevalent in their dish of candies. candy apple tree math for kids
  4. Start sorting the candies and placing them on the matching trees.candy apple math game for kids
  5. Which has the most? Which has the least? How many do they all have? Count to find out.candy apple math counting
  6. Sneak a few candies… or every single green candy when mom is busy taking pictures of your big brother counting. candy eating
  7. Pour the candies back in the jar, shake, and repeat the game.  For my son I had him figure out how many more the tree with the most had than the tree with the least and do some other simple addition and subtraction by allowing him to eat a few and then telling me how many there were after eating them. For my daughter I had her simply count and sort. I loved how easy it was to adapt to both their levels.candy apple counting game


Books About Apple Trees

apple picking time

Apple Picking Time by Michele Benoit Slawson  was not what I was expecting , it was so much more. I was expecting a basic book about picking apples at an orchard.  This book is anything but basic, it’s dreamy and while reading it I almost felt as thought I was back in time when a whole community would come to a stand still for something like apple picking.  The protagonist is Anna a little girl who works hard in the orchard along side her parents and grandparents . She isn’t as fast as her parents, but with hard work and the support of her family she reaches her goal and fills a bin! I loved this book,  I would suggest it for preschoolers and up.

Apples, Apples, Apples

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace will not be returned to the library on time. We got it out today and my son has had me read it to him 3 times, and his dad read it twice. Clearly it gets the 3 year old seal of approval. It also gets mine. The story is more than just a story about a afmily going apple picking at an orchard. It explains all sorts of apple facts but what I really love is that it also explains that there are different kinds of apples and each are used for different things. Since each member of the family is using their apples for different purposes that fact is driven home . Great book for preschoolers going on a apple picking field trip , making applesauce or apple prints.

One Red Apple

One Red Apple by Harriet Ziefert is stunning. I really enjoy this author but most of my praise for this book lands squarely on the illustrator Karla Gudeon’s shoulders. WOW. I just adore the look, and creativity of this book. The story follows the cycle of one apple from orchard, to market back to seed, tree and back into the hands of a child. I enjoy books like this that simply explain the cycles of the natural world to young kids , but you can’t miss this one.  As I turned each page I gasped, it’s one of those books you just need to sit and look at because each time you do you find some little detail you missed before.

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