25 Hands on Preschool Math Activities [Updated 2021]

Are you wondering how to approach math for preschoolers? Do you want to learn about engaging math activities for your preschool children? Read on to know about exciting and efficient preschool math activities and math games to develop and improve your kid’s math skills.

Children start using math early on in their lives. You do not need to wait until your child reaches school to teach them math. You can introduce math to your kids early on and this has many benefits. Knowledge of math helps kids make sense of the world in a much better way and inspires logical thinking. It also provides them a way to observe, reflect, and express the things they see in the world.

Preschool math is so much fun. Teaching math to preschoolers can be a bit tricky as it is completely different from teaching math to older children. Math lessons for preschoolers does not involve worksheets and solving math problems but instead focusses on the introduction and understanding of basic mathematical concepts through fun and exploration. Math in preschool can be taught through fun hands-on activities that not only develop math skills but also improve fine motor skills.

Preschool math lesson plans should cover the following areas:

  • Sorting, grouping, and sequencing
  • Shapes
  • Patterns
  • Number sense (Counting, Number Identification, Basic addition, and subtraction)
  • Estimation & Comparison

We have compiled a list of 21 fun math activities and games for children covering all the topics mentioned above. These fun preschool math activities will prepare the child for the upcoming school days and will give them a head start in math. 

Preschool Math Activities

1. Shape Sort

For preschool children, incorporate all four basic shapes: circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. This activity will teach your kids not just the two dimensional look of the shape but also teach them how the shape exists in real world as three dimensional objects. For example: A ball is a circle, a book is a rectangle etc.

For this preschool math activity, you will need shape blocks and objects of various shapes for example: books, ball, toys, etc.

You will draw shapes on the floor with chalk or you can make an outline of shape using scotch tape. 

The goal of this activity is to sort the objects according to the shape and place them within the correct shaped outline. Teach your child to feel the objects and teach them the attributes of shapes. For example: A square has 4 sides and 4 points. A triangle has 3 sides and 3 points.

2. Shape Hunt

This hands on math for preschoolers focuses on finding and identifying shapes. It also improves your child’s motor skills, color recognition, and ability to recognize shapes in different forms. 

For this preschool math activity, you will need a big chart paper, marker and crayons. Make the shapes in random order in the chart paper. In addition to the basic shapes, you can also incorporate shapes like stars, hearts, diamonds, pentagons, etc. Make sure to vary the size of the shapes and draw shapes from different angles. Highlight the outlines clearly with the marker. Paste the chart paper on a board or wall.

Now give the crayons to your child. Ask your child to find and color all circles in red. After the child finishes this, ask to find and color all squares in blue color and so on.

3. Shape maze

This is a fun outdoor math game for preschoolers that your kids will greatly enjoy. 

For this game, you will need colored chalks. Draw shapes on the ground together with your child with the colored chalks. 

Ask your child to step on a square. The goal of the game is to reach the other side of the maze by only stepping on the squares. To make the game more fun, you can give added instructions like jump, sit and hop on one leg as the kid moves across the maze. You can start over with a different shape. 

To make the game harder, you can also call out shapes with each step and the child will need to step on that shape to move across the maze. 

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4. Crafting shapes

This is an art and craft math ideas for preschoolers you can do with your kids. With this preschool math activity, your kids will not only learn more about shapes but will learn how to construct shapes as well.

You can use ice cream sticks, Q-tips, or match sticks for this activity and a board. 

Using the sticks, make various shapes with your preschooler. Show them how three sticks can be used to make a triangle and if you add more stick, it becomes a square. Teach them how to manipulate the sticks to get different shapes or how to join shapes together to form a completely new shape. For example: Placing two triangles side by side gives a diamond shape and placing squares side by side gives a rectangle.

You can also join shapes together to form objects like house sun etc. This will teach your child how a complicated object can be broken down into basic shapes. You can glue the sticks on the board and hang it on the wall.

5. Beading 

This is a great math activity for preschool that will introduce your kids to patterns and teach them how to recognize and make patterns. Threading with beads can also be used to teach other math skills like colors, counting, and shapes simultaneously while improving the child’s fine motor skills. 

For this preschool math activity, you can use a variety of beads such as wooden beads, pony beads, etc. Just make sure that the beads are easy for your preschooler to thread. You can also use edible beads that your kids can enjoy as a reward afterwards. For the string you can use shoelaces or wool.

You will first make a simple pattern such as red, blue, red, blue, or square round and show your child how to thread the beads. Ask your child to look at the pattern carefully and what they think would come next. Now, let the child sort out the beads and work on making the pattern independently till it is long enough to be worn as a bracelet or a necklace. Your child will feel a sense of accomplishment with this activity.

6. Nature Fun

This math game for preschoolers can be played whenever you are outdoors in nature with your child, in the park, or at the beach. You can give a basket to your child and send them to explore around and collect objects they find interesting like sea-shells, twigs, pebbles, pine cone, different kinds of leaves, etc. Ask them to collect at least 5 pieces of each object.

When your child is able to collect a sufficient quantity of each object, you and your child can go through the basket and sort the objects together. After you do this, you can ask your child to make a pattern in repetition with those objects. For example: leaf twig pebble, leaf twig pebble or pinecone twig. Your child will have so fun with this preschool math activity.

7. Measuring with legos

This is a fun preschool math activity to develop the concept of measurement and comparison in young children.

For this fun math activities for preschoolers, you just need a set of lego blocks. Make sure the blocks are of the same size. Show your child how to measure objects by connecting lego blocks. You can try out measuring both length and height. 

The length or height of each object will be the number of lego blocks. For example: The book is 5 legos long. Now, simply task your child with measuring the length of items around the house. You can ask them by measuring their favorite toys or their arm and feet and even height. 

Ask your child to remember and record their findings. On the basis of the measurement, ask them to compare which object is longer or taller. You can also ask the child to keep the measured lego blocks side by side to compare the lengths or height of the objects.

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8. Sizing Up

This is an engaging math activity for preschool kids to improve their understanding of size and introduce them to ascending and descending order.

For this preschool math lesson plan, you can use various objects from around the house like Q-tip, markers, crayons, spoons, pen, hairbrush, etc. Make sure there are at least 15-20 objects and the items you have selected are of different sizes. To further enhance your child’s understanding, you can also incorporate some objects of equal size. Place them all in a cardboard box.

Now, give the box to your child and ask them to arrange the items according to size. From small to big or from big to small. Teach them how to compare items from the base. You can draw a line as a reference point for measurement.

This activity will keep your child occupied as they go through the box, compare items, and get their brains working.

9. Pour & Measure

This preschool math activity helps children improve their sense of estimation and learn about volumes. 

For this preschool math activity, you and your child can pour water in differently shapes glasses randomly. Now, ask your child which glass has the most volume of water. You can also ask your child to arrange the glasses in order of volume. You can test the results using a standard measuring cup if the guesswork was correct. 

Now, ask the child to pour equal water using the measuring cup in all glasses and show them how the shape of the glasses determines the volume of the object. A fat glass may only show one-fourth full whereas a thin glass may be half full.

Kids love playing with water and this activity will give them such joy. You can substitute water with rice, sand, etc. for measuring.

10. Fit the Boxes

This math ideas for preschoolers will help your child understand spacing and develop comparison and abstract thinking skills. 

For this preschool math activities, you will need boxes of different sizes from big to small. You can also use a Tupperware set. Make sure that there are at least six boxes or containers. 

You will give the boxes to your child. The goal of this activity is to fit all the boxes in the largest box according to size. Your child will learn so much from this activity.

11. UNO sort

This delightful math activities for pre k will improve your child’s number identification and sorting skill. 

To play this preschool math game, you will need a cut out of numbers from 0-9 in big size. This will be the reference point and you will place this neatly in front of the child. Now, hand over a deck of UNO cards (keep only numerals) to your child and ask them to sort the numbers in the right category. 

As your child places the numbers down, ask them to say the number aloud to further enhance number skills.

 12. Sorting colors and numbers

This is a great preschool math activities to reinforce number skills as well as improve sorting ability.

For this preschool math activity, you can use counting bears. Take a chart paper and draw circles in different colors. Write numbers from 1 to 10 each inside the circles in the same color as the color of the circle. 

Hand over the counting bears to your child and ask them to sort out the correct numbers of bears of the correct color in the corresponding colored circles. 

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13. Make number line

This preschool hands-on math activities will help your child learn number sequencing and reinforce number recognition ability.

For this activity, you will need a post-it pad, marker, and a chart paper. Draw a line with a marker on a blank chart paper and place it on the wall.  Now write numbers from 0 to 10 on the post-it and paste it at the edge of a table in jumbled order. Ask the child to place the post it’s with numbers in the correct sequence in the number line. 

14. Join the Numbers

This preschool math activity will help reinforce number skills in children. 

You can play this game indoors or outdoors. This game can be played using colored chalk on the ground or colored markers on a whiteboard. You can draw incomplete outlines of common objects and place numbers in sequence to complete the object.

You will then give the chalk or marker to your child and ask them to join the numbers in sequence to find out what is the object. Your child will have fun connecting the dots and will squeak with delights as an object starts manifesting. Once the child completes the task, ask the child to guess the object. You can also color the object together accordingly to make the activity more fun.

15. Ring Toss

This preschool hands-on math activity is wonderful for reinforcing counting skills.

For this activity, you will need circular rings of different colors, a dice, and a tall vertical rod where you can toss the rings.

You will hand over the dice to the child and ask to roll it.  The objective of this math game for preschoolers is to count the numbers of dots on the face of the dice and count rings of the same color corresponding to the number to toss it in the stand. Once the rings have been put correctly, the child will roll the dice again and toss the rings of another color on the stand. 

The child will repeat the process with different color rings until the column is full. You can also turn this into a group activity where everyone gets to roll the dice turn wise. 

16. Burst the balloons

This is an activity that your kids will greatly enjoy. It will also sharpen number skills at the same time.

For this preschool math activity, you will need a packet of small-sized balloons and a marker. Blow up the balloons together with your kids and write numbers on the balloons from 1 to 10. You can repeat the numbers so the games will last longer. First, you will place the balloons on the floor.

Then you will call out numbers one by one. The child will need to search for the correct numbered balloon, step on it, and burst it. The game ends when all the balloons have been burst. 

17. Counting with Stickers

This is a great math activity for preschool that will teach your children the relationship between numbers and quantity. It will also help improve counting skills.

For this activity, you need a chart paper, marker, and stickers. You can divide the chart paper into 10 boxes and write numbers from 1 to 10 inside each box. You can jumble up the numbers to make the activity harder.

Now, give a pack of stickers to your child. The objective of this activity is the paste the correct number of stickers in the boxes corresponding to the numeral. Get stickers with adorable characters to get your child interested. Give a golden star for each correct box.

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18. Dominoes Match

This preschool hands-on math activities will enhance your child’s number sense and counting abilities.

For this math activity for pre k, you will need dominos tiles and number blocks from 1 to 10. You will jumble up the domino and number tiles together in a bucket.

Now, hand over the bucket to your kid and ask them to match the dominoes tile to the correct number block. Once, the child succeeds in doing so, you can ask them to arrange the numbers sequence wise.

19. Graphing

Graphing is an important math tool you can introduce to preschoolers. It helps children develop math concepts of sorting, organizing, comparing, and counting. 

For this preschool math activity, you will need unifix blocks. You will also need a graphing paper with boxes. Make sure the box is big enough to fit a cube. Write the numbers from 1- 10 on the sides of the boxes. Jumble up the unifix blocks and make sure to have different quantities for each color. Sort the unifix blocks with your child according to color. Ask the child to tell how many blocks of each color are there which can get confusing to remember. 

Now, hand over the graphing paper to the kid and ask them to arrange the unifix blocks in rows of different colors on the boxes. Once they do it, hand crayons to your kid and ask them to remove each block from the box and color them in the corresponding color. 

Once the task is complete, you can show your child how by using the graphing paper, you are able to keep track of how many quantities of each color pieces are there. You can also ask the child to observe the graph and find out which color has the highest or lowest pieces etc.  

20. Play dough

Playdough is such a fun and versatile tool that you can be used to practice numerous preschool hands on math activities and improve fine motor skills.

You will just need play dough for this preschool math activity. You can make the outline of various shapes and numbers on a chart paper. Provide play dough and the chart to your child and ask them to outline the shapes using play dough. This activity can be a precursor to writing. This activity will also enhance your child’s understanding of shapes.

21.Construction with blocks

Building towers is an effective math project for preschoolers to enhance various skills in children. It enhances logical thinking abilities, hand-eye coordination, early engineering skills, and abstract thinking. 

Make use of differently sized and shaped blocks for this game. Using different shapes and sizes will help the child understand how each shape fits and how using a bigger block as the base is more stable. You can ask the child to build houses and animals using the blocks.

You can also save up cardboard boxes, packing boxes, milk cartons, etc. for this activity.

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22. Marbles addition

For preschoolers, teach addition from 1-10. Start with smaller numbers before moving on to larger ones. Teach children that addition means joining and when you add, you always get more.

For this preschool math activity, you will need 3 trays and a jar of marbles. In the first tray and second tray, you will stick the numbers to be added. 

The child must identify the number and count the marbles corresponding to that number, and place in the respective trays. 

Now they will shift all the marbles from the first and the second tray onto the third tray. The child will count the marbles together to get the sum.

23. Shopping Fun

This is a fun preschool hands on math activities using real money to develop addition and subtraction skills simultaneously while having fun. It also introduces children to money. Make sure to use money from $1 to $10 only. If you do not want to use real money, you can draw money on paper sheets.

In this math game for preschoolers, you and your child will pretend to play a shopping scenario. Your child will play the role of the shopkeeper and you will be the customer. You can also reverse the roles. You can place toys and objects from around the house as items for sale. After this, you will give smaller bills or coins to your child.

Go to your child’s shop and ask questions like how much is this item, how much for two of these, etc. Afterward, you will collect some items you want to buy and let your child add the total. You will then hand a $10 bill and your child will have to calculate the change to be returned to you. This is such a fun arithmetic activity.

24. Ten frame

Ten frame is a hands-on activity for preschool math lesson plans for developing arithmetic skills and number sense. It is also a wonderful way to learn the relationship between numbers. 

For this preschool math activity, you will draw a ten frame on a big chart paper or on the floor with 5 rows and 2 columns. You will also need ten blocks. Each box will correspond to one block. Instead of blocks, you can also use various other objects such as pebbles, toys, etc.

For example, if the question is to add 2 and 3, you will ask your child to place two blocks in the first two boxes and again place three blocks in the next three boxes. The child will count the number of blocks to get the total.

You can also practice subtraction in the same way. For example: If the question is to find the difference between 7 and 5, the child will first place seven blocks in 7 boxes, the remove five of the blocks. The child will then count the remaining blocks to get the difference.

25. Toss the Can

This is a fun math activity for preschoolers to practice counting, number sequence, and arithmetic. 

For this math games for preschoolers, you will need ten cans that you will number from 1 to 10. You will also need a ball, whiteboard and marker for this game. 

Ask your child to place the cans one above the other in a pyramid formation on a table number sequence wise. Draw a line at a certain distance away from the table. Your child will need to toss the ball at the cans such that the maximum number falls down but without crossing the line. This game can also be played as small group activities for preschoolers math. The scores will be updated on the whiteboard.

Your child will toss the ball at the cans and count the number of cans that fall down which will be the score for that round. For example: If three cans fall down, the score is 3. The child will then update the score on the board with the marker. You will repeat the game for 3 rounds. The child will need to add the scores at the end of each round. If none of the cans falls done, it will incur negative 1 which he child will have to subtract from their present score.


Young children are curious and learn by touching and doing. So, always make math lesson plans for preschool a hands-on activity. Children also have a short attention span. So, make math activities as fun and engaging as possible. Teaching math this way will also help the kids understand math concepts rather than simply memorizing.

Your child will definitely enjoy these fun and enjoyable math ideas for preschoolers. These preschool math activities will surely improve your child’s math abilities and teach them the basic foundational principals of math. These skills will be very useful for advanced math later on. For example: Learning about shapes is the foundation for geometry, comparing and sorting is the foundation for algebra, etc. 

Moreover, these preschool math activities require young children to work their brains and will teach the children to think logically from an early age. This skill will be helpful in everyday lives for making rational choices and coming to a reasonable solution.

Have fun teaching math to preschoolers!

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