When I was in school my favorite subject was math. I still love it! I feel pretty lucky that I found it fun because i know it can feel like a chore for many.
As my middle child begins kindergarten next year, I wanted to spend the summer giving him a head start on basic math concepts the way I did with my oldest. Each child is so different and no matter where their passions arise in school, I never want them to feel the stress of struggling with Math. It can be so incredibly frustrating when they start to learn new concepts and can’t quite keep up. So learning the basics at home and utilizing summer learning time to stay ahead works wonders.
We have made up a number of games over the years, so I compiled a list of my favorite kindergarten Math activities
Using Lego for addition and subtraction is the easiest thing I have found for my little visual learners.
I found these one page a day books that my son was using in the photos. They are really simple with single digit addition and subtraction. He was struggling to count using fingers or thinking about the numbers in his head so I tossed a handful of Lego on the table and told him to count them out into the two numbers being added or subtracted.
It was like a light bulb went off.
Suddenly he was tearing through these one a day math pages in 5 minutes. Before the Lego, they were taking him 15-20 minutes.
It was an instant confidence boost and it made things more fun, rather than just repetitive work.
He got through the book quite quickly, and I didn’t want to buy another one, so I created my own printable sheets.
Math Dice Game
Next up in the kindergarten math activities list is The Math Dice Game. It couldn’t be any easier, but the kids love it and its a lot of fun.
These worksheets are just for two single digit numbers, but for older kids, you can give them more than two dice and get them to add them all up visually.
For Days when I need to keep them even busier, I set up two bowls on the floor. Then have them stand a few feet away. I tell the kids to take turns trying to throw one dice in each bowl and then look at the numbers and write them into the worksheet. It takes them an extra few minutes for each turn to get the dice into the bowls and creates a lot of giggles.
In my post Hilarious and practical chores for kids I have a chore called the Dreaded sock bag. I really hate pairing socks, so as I’m folding laundry all week, I throw all the socks into a large bag and have the kids pair them and fold them every Friday. So why not double duty that chore and get their little math brains working?
For this Kindergarten Math Activity I have my 5 year old keep track of the counting and grouping.
Step 1: There are 5 of us in the family so I have him and his older brother start by sorting all the socks into a pile for each person. You would think that there would be 7 pairs of socks for each person for a grand total of 7 x 2 x 5 = 70 socks, but somehow there’s always so many more!
Step 2: My 5 year old can practice counting by adding up all the socks in each pile. My 9 year old can practice his division to see approximately how many pairs they should end up with at the end. Its never fully accurate because there are inevitably always single socks left over at the end. I swear there are some in there that have been in there for months with no partner.
Step 3: They find as many pairs as they can. This usually takes forever because they watch cartoons while they do it and roll around complaining about how long its taking. However, I programmed it into them early that whenever they have an amount of socks that coordinates with the persons age (and a group of 4 for myself and my husband), then they should gather them up and put them in that persons drawer. So when they have 2 pairs for their little sister, 5 or 9 for them or 4 for either of us they put them away. It helps them practice their grouping identification.
The Take Away
When it comes to math, its everywhere. You can make a game out of anything. Grocery shopping? Have them count items into the cart or count fruit. Eating crackers? Start with twenty, eat a few and then have them announce the new total after practicing subtraction.
I love the more formal act of sitting down and performing worksheets because I think that routine is important. But I also love the games and activities that can encourage math as well. Get Creative and Have Fun!
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