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Early Math Activities

Math is as easy as 1 2 3. As adults we tend to complicate things. Always

remember that “Keep it Simple” applies to children more than it does us. If
you make learning easy and fun for your children, they are more likely to be
able keep it in their mind and have a head start when it comes to learning.

This is all you have to do:

Use concrete items you can find around the house. Items that are more
familiar to the child will work best. Try and use items that look the same, as
this will also help with grouping and sorting activities.

I am going to use apples and oranges in my description of the activity but

feel free to use whatever items you desire.

Depending on the age of the child will make a difference on how many
items are used. I am going to use an example with a child who is the age of
around 4-5.

Simple Adding and Subtracting:

Line up 4 apples and let the child count them. 1, 2, 3, 4. Take one away and
put it behind your back. Now ask the child to count the apples. 1, 2, 3.
Then explain what was done. We had 4 apples and we took one away, so
now we only have, 3. Ask the child to count them again. Do the same with
adding. Put 3 apples out and ask the child to count them. Then add two
apples and ask the child to count them. Explain that adding two apples to
the three apples that you had equals 5. Depending on the numbers that your
child(ren) can count up to, you can add more items to the activity. This
activity can be done every day or a few times a week. Make sure there are
not many distractions around when doing this activity so all of their attention
is focused. You can do this activity individually or as a group, or even a
circle activity if you teach a preschool class.

Sorting and Grouping:

This activity is great. It gets their little minds working and they have so
much fun all at the same time. Get 3 pieces of paper and color one large
circle on each. Make sure each paper has a different color. Then get 3
groups of items. Make sure each group matches one of the colors on the
piece of paper. Then ask the child to sort them regarding color.

Example #1: One paper has a red circle on it, one has blue, and the other
has brown. I would set out a bunch of red pom poms, blue popsicle sticks,
and brown crayons. Then I would say, put all the red things on the paper
with the red circle, all the blue things with the blue circle etc.

Example #2: Put out two empty containers on a table. Put a bunch of
crayons and markers all mixed together in the middle of the table. Ask the
child(ren) to put all the markers in one container and the crayons in another.

Everything I have mentioned in the adding, subtracting, and

sorting/grouping activities can be altered anyway you wish. Add more
items, use different items, sort by size, shape, feel, temperature. You can
turn any activity into a small math lesson. Even cleaning can be turned into
a math activity. How many buckets of toys did we clean up? Or, How many
chairs do we have around the table? How many children are here today? If
Marisa went home, how many children would be left? The possibilities are
endless. Make math fun for preschoolers, they will become better, faster
learners if we make it fun and easy. Let’s give them a head start.

*To add numbers into the sorting activities, ask the child(ren) to count as
they sort through the items and put them where they belong.