Are you wondering about what math skills you can teach your preschooler? Do you want to learn about the most efficient math activities and lesson plans for preschoolers? In this article, we will discuss about preschool maths lesson plans and activities that covers all the basic math skills your preschooler needs to master.
Math is important in our everyday lives and hence, it makes sense to introduce math to children early on. Children actually start developing math skills as infants and toddlers themselves through their daily interactions and use these skills to understand and navigate the world around them.
Teaching math early on has many advantages. It stimulates brain development, improves logical thinking, and enhances the child’s experience of the world. Hence, introducing math to preschoolers must not be overlooked. Preschool math will create a solid base for all future math learning and will make math in school easier for your little ones.
Preschool math lessons mostly focus on the introduction of basic math concepts and understanding of these math concepts through hands-on math activities. There are no worksheets or books involved in preschool math and math is taught through playful, fun, and enjoyable activities and games. For effective learning, preschoolers need to be thoroughly engaged in the learning process and focus should be on doing and the process rather than the final result.
We understand that lesson planning for preschool math may be confusing. So, we are here to provide you with all information regarding preschool math.
In this article, we will be exploring preschool maths lesson plans along with various activities you can conduct to teach and reinforce math skills to your preschooler.
Preschool Math Lesson Plan
There are certain math skills that are suitable to be taught to your preschool child and these forms the basis of math lesson plan for preschool. Below, we have listed preschool lesson plans and topics that should be introduced to your preschooler. These skills will create the foundations for kindergarten and first-grade math later on.
- Sorting and Grouping
- Sequence & Patterns
- Comparison & Estimation
- Number Sense
- Number Identification
- Numbers Writing
- Number sequence
- Numbers and quantity
- Basic Arithmetic-Addition & Subtraction
These basic math skills set the general math milestone your preschooler needs to meet.
However, please keep in mind that kids develop math skills at different rates. Some children can grasp concepts quickly while some children need more time and practice. Always let your preschooler learn and develop at their own pace. Do not rush lessons, force learning, or stress out your preschooler.
Your preschooler is still adjusting and trying to make sense of things. Missing a milestone does not mean your child is weak in math. Give your preschooler ample time and space to experience and explore these math topics. By providing a positive and supportive environment, we have no doubt that your child will be able to reach their full potential.
Math Activities for Preschoolers
Now, we are going to explore each topic in preschool maths lesson plans one by one with interesting and engaging math activities for your preschooler to master each concept.
Sorting and Grouping
Sorting and grouping activities is an important lesson plan for preschool math. It teaches them to analyze and observe objects, and categorize them based on their properties. This will also teach basic organizational skills to the little ones.
To teach this preschool math lesson, you can provide a set of objects to your preschooler and ask them to sort them out. Make this an interactive activity and discuss with your child about the similarities and differences between objects and why certain objects should go in one pile.
When you are teaching sorting and grouping, make sure to involve various all these characteristics.
- Sorting by shape
- Sorting by color
- Sorting by size
- Sorting by function
- Sorting by similarities
You can use a multitude of objects for sorting and grouping preschool maths lesson plans. Here are a few examples:
Sorting using shape or color blocks, counting bears, buttons, coins, Lego, and marbles.
Sorting toys and stationary: Ask your preschooler to sort their toys based on their characteristics like plush toys, dolls, and action figures, toy cars, etc. You can also ask them to sort their stationery into pencils, markers, color pencils, crayons, etc.
Sorting in everyday activities: Ask your child to sort laundry pile into pants, socks, shirts or sort plates, bowls, glasses, spoons, and forks during mealtimes or sort fruits, vegetables, and groceries after shopping.
Sorting outdoors: You can practice sorting even when you are outdoors like sorting stones, shells, twigs, leaves, petals, etc.
Learning to identify and understand shapes is a crucial skill for preschoolers. Learning about shapes improves visual and abstract thinking in young children, and shape identification ability actually forms the basis of all future learning. Learning to read and write is all based on the ability to differentiate and understand the shapes of the alphabet and numbers.
When you introduce preschool math lessons in shape, begin with the 4 basic shapes – square, triangle, circle, and rectangle. You can then gradually move on to complex shapes like diamond, star, heart, oval, semi-circle, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, etc.
Ensure that your preschooler understands the properties of each shape – how many sides they have, how many points they have, and what kind of edge it has. Make use of 2-d shape blocks and let your child feel each shape. Include shapes of different sizes and variety to enhance your child’s shape recognition abilities. For example: Include rectangles of different lengths, different types of triangles, and stars with different numbers of points.
Next, you can teach your preschooler about 3-d shapes and how the shapes look like in the real world. For example: A ball corresponds to a circle or a cushion corresponds to a square. Teach them to see and identify shapes in the real world.
Here’s are some fun activities you can try with your preschooler:
Shape sorting: Cut out different shapes or use shape blocks, and jumble them out. Have your child sort out the shapes. You can also use real objects from around the house like coasters, milk cartons, birthday hats, ball, etc. and have your preschooler sort the objects based on their shape.
Shape hunting: For this activity, you can draw shapes on a chart paper randomly and paste it on the wall. Provide different color markers to your preschooler. Ask them to color all circles in red, all triangles in blue, etc.
Shape Exploring: Involve preschool maths lesson plans as you go about daily activity, explore shapes with your child inside and outside the house. For example: A traffic one is a triangle, the moon could be a circle, semi-circle, or a crescent, the notice board is a rectangle, and watermelon is oval, etc. This will help children understand how our world is made up of various shapes combined together.
Shape puzzle: To make the shape puzzle, you can cut each shape into 2-4 pieces. Jumble up the pieces and have your preschooler sort and combine the pieces to form a complete shape. This is a great logic development activity for kids.
Shape matching: For this prekindergarten math lesson game, you can cut out various pictures from an old magazine or picture book and have the kids match the pictures to the shape. For example: A picture of the sun matches with a circle, a picture of cloth hanger matches to a triangle, etc.
Making shapes: Conduct art and crafts activity for your toddler where you teach them how to make shapes. You can use toothpicks, play dough, ice cream sticks, etc. to create shapes. You can also provide your preschooler with outlines of shapes and ask them to place thread and beads on the outline to enhance their understanding of shapes.
Construction activities: In this activity, you can provide your child with blocks of various shapes and sizes and ask them to construct towers, houses, etc. by arranging and stacking the shapes. This activity is great for your child to explore the properties of shapes by themselves as well as improve their fine motor skills.
Read about how young children approach math
Sequence & Patterns
Identifying and recognizing patterns is helpful to make sense of things and to navigate the world. Identifying patterns also forms the basis for solving math problems. You need to include patterns in your preschool maths lesson plans.
Teach patterns through sound and movement: To introduce your preschooler to patterns, you can begin with movement, actions, and sounds. For example: Clap, jump, clap, jump (AB pattern) or stand, stomp, sit, stand, stomp, sit (ABC pattern).
Copying Pattern: Next, you will teach patterns pre k math lessons through hands-on activities. To make patterns, you can use multiple manipulative like beads, fruit loops, legos, blocks, stickers, and stamps and keep pattern lessons interesting. Make a pattern first and ask your preschool kid to copy the pattern and continue the pattern in the same way.
Introduce your preschool kid to making various patterns based on characteristics like shape, color, size, or type. For example: red, blue, red, blue or square, square, round, square, square, sound. Begin with a simple AB pattern and then move on to ABC, AABB, AAB, ABB patterns.
Creating patterns: You can also encourage your preschooler to create their own pattern. You can encourage your child to make patterns with toys, common household items, or collect stones, twigs, and leaves, etc. to make patterns. This activity will also enhance creativity.
Exploring patterns: Identify new patterns every day to enhance pattern math lesson plans for preschool. For example: Patterns in a shirt or sweater, patterns in furniture, patterns in leaves and flowers, etc.
Missing patterns: Once, your child gets the hang of patterns, you can ask them to fill in a missing piece in the pattern. This activity will further challenge your kid’s understanding of patterns.
Understanding size is important for making comparisons and distinguishing between various objects. There are various math lessons for preschoolers to help them understand different aspects of size. Here are a few fun size activities for your preschooler.
Large, medium, and small sorting: Have your preschooler sort objects into large, medium, and small categories. For this activity, you can use different sized blocks, cut-outs of pictures, etc. You can also use real objects from around the house. For example: A coin goes in small size, a T.V. remote goes in medium-size and a big teddy bear goes into the large size pile.
Ascending & Descending Size sorting: This activity will greatly enhance e your child’s comparison and logical skill. For this activity, you will ask your preschooler to arrange objects according to size from big to small or from small to big. You can begin with similar objects like sticks of different lengths or discs or blocks of different sizes. If you are using blocks, you can ask them to stack according to size. To challenge your child, you can then combine various types of objects like fruits, books, cups, etc. and have your child organize the objects based on their size.
Comparing sizes: Involve size preschool maths lesson plans for your child in everyday activities. Ask questions like which tree is taller, which box is bigger, which apple is bigger or which house is larger etc.
Comparison and Estimation
Comparison and estimation skills are needed in everyday lives to analyze information and make a decision. The best way to include estimation and comparison skills in pre k math lessons is to incorporate in day to day lives.
The first thing to do before teaching estimation and comparison skill is to introduce your child to math vocabulary such as big/small, more/less, near/far, lighter/darker, etc. make user hat your child understands these concepts clearly.
Comparison: Include comparison in everyday conversations. For example: Which car is bigger, which color is darker, which shoe is bigger, which book is thicker, which glass has more water, which jar has fewer cookies, which pencil is shorter, which box is heavier, is the school or playground near from home. Make sure to introduce your child to different aspects of comparison including volume, quantity, weight, length, and diameter.
Estimation: While practicing estimation preschool math lesson, take a guesswork based approach but make sure that your child is actually making a calculated guess based on logic. Let your child estimate first after which you can verify the answer. Be creative while teaching estimation. Here are a few activities you can practice with your child.
- You can have jars filled with different amounts of marbles and ask the child to estimate how many marbles are there in each jar without counting.
- Take a handful of nuts or goldfish snacks in your hand and show it to your child. Ask the child to estimate how many you have in your hand. Count and verify the answer.
- Have objects of different weights and ask your child to lift each one and estimate which one is heavier. Verify using a weighing machine.
- Have different shaped jars and glass filled with water or sand. Ask your child to estimate which one has more water. You can use a measuring cup to check the result.
- While traveling or waiting for a favorite show, ask your child to estimate how much time is left.
Read about math game for toddlers
Measurement is an important part of mathematics that has functional use in everyday life. We use measurements to define the size, quantity, and dimension of any object. In preschool maths lesson plans, you can involve the concept of measurement in the following ways:
Measuring length: To measure the length you can use connecting blocks. Teach your child to measure various objects around the house like a book, table, remote, etc. using blocks by placing blocks from one end of the object to another. The length of the object will be the number of clocks. Ask your preschool about which item was the longest or shortest based on measurement.
Measuring height: Teach your child to measure the height of objects by stacking blocks or Legos. The height of the object will be the number of blocks or Legos. You can ask them to measure the height of their toys, table, dolls, or other objects around the house.
Measuring diameter: Teach your child to measure circular objects like a ball, balloon, vase, or pumpkin using ribbons. Teach them to wrap the ribbon around the widest part of the object and cut it. Then, you can compare the ribbon sizes to find out which object has the largest diameter.
Measuring & Matching: For this pre-kindergarten math lesson, you need to cut straws in different sizes. On a piece of chart paper, draw lines corresponding to the length of straws. Have your child match the correct length of straws to the correct line. You can also use objects like bottle caps, jar caps, coin or have cut outs of shapes which you will trace on a paper. Ask your child to place the correct object in the correct box.
Measuring & Pouring: For this activity, provide your child with measuring cups and different size containers. You can use rice or sand as items to measure. Let the child fill the jars using measuring cups. Have them count how many measuring cups were needed to fill the container. You can also do the same with water to measure volume.
Graphing skill is important for organizing and keeping track when it comes to multiple objects and helps bring a sense of order. So, why not include graphing skills in preschool maths lesson plans.
Though graphing is an advanced skill, you can still introduce simple graphing to pre k math lessons. To introduce graphing to preschoolers, have Legos of different numbers in each color, and ask them to count each type. After the children do so, ask them questions like: How many blue Legos were there, how many yellow, how many red? The child will be likely to forget. Now, tell them that, you know a fun way to keep track of all items. You can also use items like different types of sweets or pictures, or fruit loops, etc. for graphing activity.
Graphing activity: Make a column on a chart and ask your child to sort each type of item in each column. After they finish, you can show them how by organizing the items in a graph form, the child can now easily track how many quantities of each item are there and also make comparisons between them easily.
Developing number sense creates the basic foundation for all mathematical calculations. Math is almost entirely dependent on numbers and learning about numbers, understanding numbers, and relationships between them are very important to move ahead in math. Number sense can be developed right from a child’s early years and doing so will actually make math so much easier for the child in school. For preschool children, we will focus on counting, number identification, number sequence, writing numbers, and associating number with quantity.
Counting introduces children to numbers. Kids actually start developing counting abilities early on and they use this ability every day to make sense of quantity.
Counting songs: For counting preschool maths lesson plans, introduce your preschooler to counting through the use of counting songs and catchy tunes. You can also find many interactive videos and songs for teaching kids counting on the internet. You can practice counting 1-5 and slowly build it up to 20. Also, introduce the value of 0 to your child.
Make counting hands on: Include actions like showing 1 finger for number 1 or clapping 1 time for number 1. Include counting in day to day activities like counting coins, counting pages, counting cookies, counting spoons, etc. This will also help children understand that the bigger the number, the greater is the quantity.
Take care of number sequencing and make sure your child is not skipping any numbers when counting. Once your child is fluent in counting from 1 to 20, introduce “counting on” which means to start counting from a particular number like 5, 6, 7, 8 instead of starting right from 1.
You can ask questions like what comes after 3 or what comes before 5. You can also introduce backward counting from 10 to 1.
Read about when do kids learn to count.
The next lesson plan on numbers for preschoolers is to teach your child to identify numbers.
Introduce numbers one by one: Do not rush. Introduce preschoolers to numbers one at a time. You can write the numbers on a board or make use of flashcards, number cards, etc. Start with numbers from 1 to 5 and repeat until perfect. Introduce your preschooler to numbers at least till 10 and maybe more depending on your child’s capacity.
Show a number randomly and make sure the kid can recognize each number independently and not just in a sequence.
Say the number aloud: While introducing any number to children, say the number out loud and make your child repeat it with you. You can also demonstrate numbers with your fingers at the same time.
Number activities: Here are some number identification preschool math lesson activities. Your children will have so much fun with these games.
Sort and match number. You can use number flashcards or UNO cards for this activity. Ask your child to sort out the numbers and say the number out loud as they place each card in the piles.
Point out numbers: Point out numbers to your child every day like dialing the phone number, house number, card number, in money, etc., and ask your child to identify the numbers.
Number Fun: Write numbers on the driveway or on the ground with colored chalks. Hand a water gun to your child. As you call out a number, make the child identify the number and spray the number with a water gun that many number of times.
Run and Touch Number: You can have cut outs of numbers and paste them around the house. You will then call out the number. The child will have to look out for the number, identify it, and touch it.
For preschool maths lesson plans for number writing, you can teach them to write numbers from 1 to 5. You can also move up to 10 depending on your child’s capacity.
Introduction to Number shapes: Begin by investing in number shape blocks. Let your children feel the shape of each number first. Teach them to trace their fingers on the shape blocks. Introduce your child to writing numbers by drawing numbers in the air. Guide the hands of your child first and ask them to mimic your movements.
Tracing and Writing numbers: Next step in number lesson plans for preschool math is to start practicing writing numbers on a paper with a pencil or crayon. You can make your preschooler trace numbers using dots and dashes. You can then proceed to free writing. Make sure that the numbers are clear and proper.
Helpful Tips: Start practicing number writing one by one and move on to the next number only when the previous one has been mastered. Correct any mistakes early on. Many children have the tendency to write numbers backward. You can make use of mnemonics to recognize and write numbers. For example: Around and around we go, and now we have 0, a straight line and we have number 1, etc.
Number writing Activities: You can also conduct fun pre-k math lesson activities to increase your kid’s familiarity with number shapes.
- Practice writing numbers on sand or salt tray.
- Invest in number tracing and coloring books.
- Make numbers using play dough, thread, beads, etc. You can draw the outline of numbers and ask your child to place the manipulative on the outline.
Correct sequencing is important while learning numbers. To improve number sequencing for your preschooler, you can conduct these math lessons for preschoolers:
Arranging sequence: Provide your child with jumbled up number blocks or number cards. You can also write numbers on a chart paper and have cut outs. You can then ask your child to arrange the numbers in the correct sequence.
Number line: You can also make a line with duct tape on the floor and have your child arrange the number blocks or number cards neatly on the line. The number line will come in handy in later math.
Once your preschooler is good at sequencing numbers, you can also try leaving out some numbers or have a blank card so the child can know which number is missing. If your child has already learned writing, encourage them to write the missing number by themselves.
Numbers and quantity
Each number corresponding to a quantity. It is important for you to show this relationship to your preschooler early on as this will form the basis of all arithmetical operations later on. This is an important part of preschool maths lesson plans.
Here are some pre-k math lesson activities to teach this crucial skill.
Make a table on a chart paper and write numbers from 1 to 10. Make your kids paste the correct number of stickers beside each number. For example: 1 sticker for number 1; 2 stickers for number 2 and so on.
You can also reverse the game by providing quantity to the child and asking them to match the quantity to the number. For this, you can make dots on the chart instead of writing numbers. Have your child count the dots and stick the correct number cut out next to the correct number of dots.
For the next activity, provide your child with numbered trays or bowls. Ask your child to count and fill the correct number of items in the correctly labeled bowls. You can use marbles, goldfish snacks, beads, etc. for this activity.
Practice in sequence first and as the child advances, you can jumble up the numbers.
Basic Arithmetic-Addition & Subtraction
We use arithmetic in our everyday lives. So, why not include this valuable skill in preschool maths lesson plans. Learning arithmetic enhances other number skills in children and helps them understand the relationship between numbers and how to manipulate numbers.
For math lesson plans for preschool, we will just focus on simple addition and subtraction for numbers from 1 to 10. Teach your child that addition means more and subtraction means less.
Finger Arithmetic: Teach finger counting to your preschooler and show them to perform arithmetic calculations in the same way. For example: To add 2 + 4, teach your child to first open up 2 fingers, then open 4 fingers and count the number of open fingers to get the answer or to subtract 3 from 6. Teach your child to first open up 6 fingers, then fold 3 fingers back and count the remaining fingers to get the difference.
Arithmetic using real objects: Use real objects for practicing arithmetic for a more hands-on experience. You can use goldfish snacks, marbles, and crayons, etc. Provide a tray to your child for this activity. To add 2 + 4, teach your child to put 2 objects in the tray, then put 4 more objects and count them together to get the answer. To subtract 3 from 6, the child needs to first out 6 objects, remove 3 objects and count the reaming objects.
Practicing arithmetic in real life: Involve your child in arithmetic calculations every day and ask them questions related to arithmetic. For example: You have 3 cookies and I give you 3 more, how many cookies do you have now? Now, give one cookie to your friend, how many will you be left with?
We hope this article has provided you with insight on how to approach math lessons for preschoolers. We are confident that your little one will cover preschool maths lesson plans while enjoying these fun math activities and games.
Preschool math activities and games may not seem like doing math at all. But, these are actually the foundations for all advanced math. For example, learning numbers forms the basis of almost all math operations, learning shapes forms the basis of geometry, sorting and recognizing patterns forms the basis of algebra, and comparing, estimation and graphing is the precursor to data analysis.
This clearly shows how important it is to teach your child these basic math skills. Learning math from an early age also prevents children from struggling with math later on. So, why not start right away and equip your preschooler with these valuable math skills.