This more and less math activity is an easy way to start teaching basic addition and subtraction skills to preschoolers. Featuring a strawberry lemonade theme, these counting mats will fit in nicely with your summer preschool lesson plans when you’re preschoolers will be ready for learning how to add and subtract.
Be sure to check out our other ideas on how to teach math to preschoolers, too. It’s where you’ll find all the best and most effective math activities for preschoolers.
After spending the school year teaching your preschoolers deep number sense skills, they are probably ready to receive more direct instruction in how to add and subtract. These mats are just the thing for that first introduction.
This printable is just a small sample of our Summer More & Less Activity Pack, which features a total of ten beginning addition and subtraction activities for preschoolers, all featuring a summertime preschool theme.
Addition and Subtraction Activities for Preschool
It’s excited to start teaching addition and subtraction to preschoolers, but how do you know when they are ready? Before introducing these skills to preschoolers, it’s best that they have mastered the following math skills first:
- rote counting to 20
- one to one correspondence
- cardinality (number order)
- conservation of numbers
It’s also helpful if children have mastered number recognition through ten, but it’s not always necessary.
This Guide to Teaching Number Sense to Preschoolers is really helpful.
Free Lemonade Theme More and Less Counting Activity
There’s nothing, and I mean nothing, like fresh squeezed lemonade. It’s the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. And it is oh-so refreshing.
Just like this printable. It’s the perfect combination of number sense skills and learning how to add and subtract, all tied up in a free math printable. Now that is refreshing to my teaching!
The printable includes one free more and less counting mat, and ten pre-made strawberry lemonade glasses. Just a few swipes through the paper cutter and you’re ready!
Additional Materials Needed
You can purchase cute strawberry manipulatives to stay on theme, like strawberry mini erasers or these super life-like acrylic strawberries. I like these flat-back resin strawberry pieces the best.
But really, all you need are some red buttons.
How to Teach the More and Less Activity
Here’s how to play. (Don’t worry, these instructions are on the counting mats, too).
- Draw a lemonade card and count the number of strawberries on that card.
- Place the card in the center column on the counting mat.
- Now, use the buttons to count one less strawberry in the left column, and one more strawberry in the right column.
This is certainly a multi-step activity, so it’s important that you model for your preschooler a few times and then do it with your preschooler before expecting them to do it independently.
I do, we do, you do.
Tips for Teaching More and Less
Sometimes, even if your preschooler has strong number sense skills, they might struggle with this activity at first. Try these tips:
- Pick out the lemonade cards with fewer strawberries.
- Use a number line to help your preschooler visualize and count what number comes before and after.
- Use strawberry manipulatives for extra counting practice.
- Line up each set of strawberries and count and compare the number of objects.
- Spend additional time working in small groups or individually with the student.
Summer More and Less Activities for Preschoolers
This free printable is just one activity from our Summer More & Less Activity Pack, which features a total of ten beginning addition and subtraction activities for preschoolers, all featuring a summertime preschool theme.
This pack embraces all our favorite themes in summer, like camping, going to the beach, and playing with bubbles and sidewalk chalk.
Lemonade Activities for Preschoolers
These mats are the perfect addition to your preschool math centers while doing a lemonade or summer preschool theme. Here are some other lemonade activities for kindergarten and preschool that will pair nicely, too.
Get ready for some summer sensory fun with this fantastic lemonade play dough recipe! You’ll only need a few common ingredients to create a delightful batch of citrus-scented dough that’s as easy to make as a cool glass of lemonade.
This lemonade craft is adorable! Using basic craft materials found in your classroom, your little ones can make the cutest tall glass of lemonade while unknowingly practicing a little geometry, too! Hang them from some yarn to make the cutest bunting for your classroom.
Any lemonade theme wouldn’t be complete without a lemonade water bin. Preschoolers really work their hand strength and fine motor skills as they squeeze lemon halves a scoop slices. Only two ingredients needed: lemons and water!
Get Your Free Lemonade More and Less Activity Here
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.