These Prek math games were exactly what my class needed! Last year I felt like my math activities were strong for small groups and free choice. Still, I needed some more explicit math instruction that allowed me to insert a little scope and sequence, so I felt more assured that my students had ample exposure and experience with some math skills. The thing is, is that in preschool, we primarily look to target instruction through play, assess what our students know, and then help create an environment that allows them to explore building on their skills. I don’t do a ton of planned instruction with scope and sequence. But not a ton doesn’t mean none. I introduce letter sounds sequentially, I introduce letter formation sequentially, and with the three Prek math games I’m sharing today, I do the same for numbers and subitizing. These short math games like roll & write for letter formation and mystery box for letter sounds don’t take up much time, but they help build the skills and work!
Simple Math Games for Preschool
First of all, I use the same printable cards for all three of these games. You can make your own or use the ones I have created. You can buy the 1-20 set here.
Mystery Number – Playful Daily Math for Preschool
This little game is part of my circle time routine. In the morning, we welcome each other to school with our good morning song, then find out who the child of the day is and then the mystery number. Our puppet Quinn has the mystery number clues in a little pouch. This is how we do it:
1. Pull out the finger cards. Let’s use 4 as an example:
” Oh the first clue for our mystery number is this picture of a hand, how many fingers is this person holding up?”
The children who know will yell out four. But I still want to support those who aren’t subitzing yet and get a little counting modeling in too.
“Yes, four. Let’s count to be sure. ” then we count and move on to the next clue.
2. Pull out the illustration of the dice:
“Ok, the next clue is this picture of dice. What number did they roll?”
The children who know it by sight ( subitizing) will happily yell it out.
“Yes, this clue is four too! Let’s see what the last clue is!”
3. Pull out the numeral card.
The children will all yell out four!
After we find out the number, we do something physical with it, stamp our feet 4 times, maybe air write the numeral, clap… something with movement.
One Little Number Went Out To Play – Active Math for Preschool
This game is a game I use for all kinds of things, letters, shapes, colors… but in this case, numbers. I use the numeral cards for it, but you can also use the finger or dice cards too.
Here is how you play this preschool math game:
Have all our students sit on the floor across from you. You will want at least 10 feet between you. Hand out the cards, but not in order. In a large class, I would hand out duplicates, so you have more than one child with the same number. This will keep the game to a reasonable length.
Now sing ( here is a link to the tune of the song, just remember to call out numbers, not letters)
One little number went out to play on a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for the number 4 to come!
( then the child or children with number 4 comes and sits with you. Count all the people on the web ( you and the children who have already come over), and repeat.
Two little numbers went out to play upon a spider’s web on day
They had such enormous fun that they called for the number 11 to come!
and repeat until everyone is on the web.
Find Your Match Math Game For Preschool
Yesterday I had a child say that this is the best game he’s ever played, even better than soccer. I mean, it’s fun, but is it really better than soccer??
Here is how you play this Prek math game:
Match up enough dice and number cards for your class beforehand and have your class join you at the rug.
Explain that their job is to find a friend with a card with the same number. I demonstrate this with some cards. When they do they should sit together with their partner.
Now shuffle the cards and hand one out to each student.
Invite the students to get up and find their match.
That’s it. They love it, and I love that I can assess who has mastered number recognition, accurate counting, and subitizing and who is still working on those skills. Here is a link to print your own number cards here.
For more simple math ideas you can use at home or in your preschool classroom, check out our math archive and, better yet pick up my book Everyday Preschool. It’s packed with simple but effective activities.