Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 28): Math for Preschoolers

Along with a Catholic preschool curriculum, I've started intentionally doing math with Peter. I have one topic planned per day on a six day rotation. Of course, we don't always do one per day. Sometimes we miss a day or two, other days we do a variety of math activities. Having a schedule helps me ensure I'm touching on a variety of concepts, though. Here are the topics:

Counting. This seems pretty obvious. We count pictures, blocks, train cars, feet, people on the couch... anything. He has surprised me a few times recently by referencing how many of something he has on his plate, without counting them aloud first.

Sorting. I bought a bag of pony beads for a couple bucks. Combined with an egg carton, this is the recipe for at least an hour of fun. (We also have buttons, but I haven't introduced those yet to be sorted.) We sort by color, or try to put the same number in each opening. He also has been learning about most and least - dump all the beads and see which pile is biggest and smallest!

Dice. Peter loves dice, primarily because they are fun to bounce across the table. I've tapped into that interest to do a little more math. How many dice do we have? Now how many are left? How many spots are up? Is that number bigger or smaller than this number? Lots of math to do there!

Telling time. He has a big wooden clock (by Melissa&Doug) with movable minute and hour hands. He's beginning to get the idea that the hour hand tells the first number. Mostly he just enjoys moving the hands and asking, "And NOW what time is it?!"

Measuring. He has his own 3 foot measuring tape and loves to measure books, furniture, and people. So far, he doesn't really grasp the idea that it always needs to start with zero, but I'm sure we'll get there. (His tape actually has a zero on it, which I think is great.) We also have done measuring as part of baking, talking about fractions.

Stopwatch. This is a great one for while I am nursing the baby or he just has a lot of extra energy. I time him doing all sorts of stunts, then we look at the stopwatch and see how many seconds it was. He learns to identify numbers and how to compare amounts of time.


  1. I love the stop watch idea! I also really like the idea of sorting, but Gus hasn't been interested so far.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, Peter often likes the dumping better than the sorting. :-)

  2. I found this book on the shelf in my library and used it with the BOCES severe class, and they loved it! Might be fun for when you bust out the buttons: