It’s back to preschool time, which means time to welcome a new class of faces, as well as a new set of preschool skills. This post is all about math activities for preschoolers to use during the first days of school so you can gauge what math skills your preschoolers have at the start of a new year.
Hands On Math Activities for Back to School Theme
As the summer comes to a close and preschoolers prepare to head back to school, many educators are looking for ways to review math concepts. After all, preschool is an important time for developing foundational skills in all areas, including math.
When adding math activities to our preschool and kindergarten lesson plans during the first week of school, we have to consider some of the following.
- Does my preschooler have number recognition skills?
- Can they practice counting on their own?
- Do they count with one-to-one correspondence?
- Can they order numbers?
- Do they work with fine motor skills?
These are just some of the questions I ask myself when getting a fresh group of young children in my preschool classroom. Typically, a new group of preschoolers will have an incredibly wide variety of math skills, so simple math activities for preschoolers can provide a lot of insight the first few weeks of school.
FAQ About Teaching Math to Preschoolers
Teaching math to preschoolers isn’t about doing endless preschool math worksheets. Learning activities should be hands-on and engaging, while targeting important number skills. Preschoolers will learn best from hands on math activities, including counting games, sensory math activities, and gross motor activities.
Preschool math lesson plans should include more than counting activities. Children can enjoy a variety of targeted daily math activities, including new skill work, review activities, literacy integration, and independent practice. Here are nine preschool math units that can be taught for the year.
~ Comparing & Sorting
~ Counting 0-5
~ Counting 0-10
~ Position & Patterns
~ Counting 0-20
~ Addition & Subtraction
The easiest way to know what skills you should be teaching in preschool mathematics is by downloading a free math skills checklist!
That checklist will explain everything you need to know about teaching preschool math including what to include in your preschool math lesson plans to make sure they are playful and complete.
Preschool Counting Activities Using Crayon Counting Cards
These learning activities are just the right thing to add to your back to school activities for preschoolers. Be sure to grab your free printable at the end of this post.
- free crayon counting cards
- box of crayons to use as counting manipulatives
The Set Up
The set up is simple. Just print the crayon counting cards in color on heavy card stock. Laminate for added durability. Cut apart the cards and place them on a tray with a set of crayons and invite your preschooler to join you in learning numbers and counting.
How to Use the Counting Cards
The more straight forward way os using these counting cards is simply by the following:
- Draw a card.
- Identify the number on the cards.
- Count the number of crayons.
- Count the corresponding number of real crayons from the tray.
Preschoolers do twice the counting with these cards. But, they are practice two different counting skills.
When counting the crayons printed on the cards, preschoolers are counting a set. However, pulling a specific quantity of crayons from a larger set is a different counting skill. Both are important for developing number sense.
Teach Addition and Subtraction to Preschoolers with Counting Cards
These cards also include =, -, and = signs. These can be used for teaching addition to preschoolers, and for those who are ready, subtraction, too.
For this, you will want to separate the cards into higher and lower numbers, and possibly remove some of the larger numbers. Most preschoolers can learn to add and subtraction up to five before entering kindergarten, but it is not a required skill.
- Draw a card and lay it on the table.
- Place a + or – sign next.
- Draw a second card. (If practicing subtraction, make sure the first number is larger).
- Place the = card next.
- Invite your preschooler to identify the numbers in the layout and count out a set of crayons to solve.
Get Your Free Crayon Counting Cards Here
These counting cards can be sued during small group work, but you can also add them to your preschool math centers. And of course, keep them with your back to school theme activities!
More Back to School Activities for Preschoolers
Math Lesson Plans for Preschoolers
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.