How to Choose Entertaining Play-Based Math Activities for Strong Early Learning
Educational,  Mom's Parenting Tool Box,  Pre-K Learning at Home

How to Choose Play-Based Math Activities for Early Learners

Early Learning happens almost exclusively through play. Kids at the preschool age learn best through hands-on games, activities, and play. It is truly amazing how many things they are learning and building their skills base with as they play and experience the world around them. One of my big goals here at Savor the Mom Life is to help you understand how early learning works and provide you with the tools, products, and ideas to create play-based learning. In every one of my Independent Preschool Learning Busy Boxes, I include Ideas for early math skills play. Keep reading for How to Choose Play-Based Math Activities for Early Learners.

 Play-Based Math Activities for Strong Early Learning

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Pre Math Skills or Concepts that can be Learned Through Play

Numbers and Counting

  • Identifying the names and shapes of numbers 1-10 is the base of all math learning. How to say, identify, and then write the numbers are the first focus of many.
  • Counting always begins with physical objects. Kids need to see and touch things to help them understand.
  • One-to-one correspondence is the idea that each number represents an object as you count it. The other part of one-to-one is understanding that the last number counted equals the amount present.
  • Number sense comes when they being to count without relying on physical objects.

Numbers and Counting Games, Activities, and Worksheets

  • Number and # Set Flashcards
  • 10 Frame
  • Number Line
  • Stickers, Stamps, and Manipulative Objects
  • Number Books
  • Color By Number Pages
  • Number Tracing Sheets
Dog Bone Number Set Flashcards
Number and Number Set Flashcards
Check them out in the Dog Busy Box or on Teacher Pay Teacher
Spring 10 Frame and Number Line
10 Frame and #Line. Check this one out in the Spring Busy Box.

Addition and Subtraction

  • After number sense children can start to look at and compare numbers.
  • Describing how they are the same or different.
  • Adding and Subtracting always starts with physical objects as well.

Addition and Subtraction Games, Activities, and Worksheets

  • Number Set Flashcards
  • 10 Frames
  • Stickers, Stamps, and Manipulative Objects.
  • Color by Math Facts
Number Set Flashcards. Check them out in the Dinosaur Busy Box or on Teacher Pay Teacher.
Snowflake Stamp Subtraction
Check out how to make this DIY Snowflake Stamp.

Geometry and Spatial Reasoning

  • Learning shapes start with 2 D concepts. Square, triangle, circle, rectangle, rhombus, and oval. Identifying and Drawing the shapes.
  • Next are 3D Shapes like a sphere, cylinder, cube, etc. Identifying, drawing, and manipulating.
  • Spatial Reasoning is all about comparing shapes and objects. There is a lot of talking and learning vocabulary like big-small, strait- curvy, under, beside, around, etc.

Geometry and Spatial Reasoning Games, Activities, and Worksheets

  • Shape Flashcards and Tracing Pages
  • Stickers, Stamps, and Objects for comparing
Shark Shape Flashcards
Shark Shape and Numbers Flashcards in the Shark Week Busy Box

Sorting and Patterns

  • Kids learn to sort things before they learn to count usually. They notice how things are the same and different and sort them accordingly.
  • Weight, Shape, Color, Quality, Texture, etc.
  • Pattern skills come after sorting. Kids can learn to identify, copy, repeat, create, and correct patterns.

Sorting and Patterns Games, Activities, and Worksheets

  • Stickers, Stamps, and Manipulative Objects
  • Pattern Worksheets
  • Sorting Graphs and Charts
St. Patrick's Day Busy Box. Patterns
Making Patterns with Manipulatives
TP Roll Paint Patterns
TP Roll Paint Patterns in the Halloween Busy Box
Backyard Bird Graph
Check this out in Window Games for Kids.

Math Vocabulary

  • Using words when talking about math.
  • More, Less, Add, Take Away, Light, Heavy, Small, Big, etc.
  • Many of these are used organically when playing and experiencing the world about them.

Math Vocabulary Games, Activities, and Worksheets

  • Math Books
  • Word Wall Words for Labeling and Conversation
  • Math Story Creation with Objects, Stamps, or Stickers

Learning Style Specific Preschool Math Skills

Auditory Learning Style

  • Math Discussions
  • Counting Out Loud
  • Math Concept Songs
  • Rhyming

Visual Learning Style

  • Flashcards to read, put in order, create matches, etc.
  • Using the 10 Frame to organize a set.
  • Color Coding and Sorting

Kinesthetic Learning Style

  • Hands-on whenever possible
  • Many Manipulatives
  • Calculators and Computers
  • Movement and Dance to Memorize

Reading and Writing Learning Style

  • Worksheets to trace, copy, and write
  • Books

These early preschool math skill ideas can be used at home school, in school, in a class center, in an independent play busy box, and even playtime with mom and dad. At Savor the Mom Life I try to make early learning through play, easy and accessible to anyone interested. Encouraging skill-building through play has wonderful effects. A strong base on these core math skills and an enjoyment of learning can happen without even realizing it.

Check out all my themed Busy Boxes!!! There are math activities and games included in each one!

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