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At Home Math Activities for Pre-Schoolers

Ms. Emily demonstrates a math activity with her students.

The following is a VPM Blog post by Emily Hicks, a preschool teacher in Henrico, Virginia.


Math may look different for littles than it does for older children or adults, but it is just as important. Math for tinies tends to mean focusing on colors, shapes, counting, basic patterns, puzzles, and one-to-one correspondence.

Number Sorting
Similar to color sorting, but with numbers. I like to use a muffin tin for this activity, but you could just as easily label cups. Tape a piece of paper with a number on it to the bottom of each muffin tin cup and have your child fill each cup with that number of objects. You can take this one step further and use this activity to practice fine motor skills as well. You can have your child use different objects like tweezers, clothespins, or chopsticks to pick up the objects they are sorting.

Numbers and Stickers
Take paper or index cards and write a number on them. Have your child place that many stickers on each paper or card. This activity reinforces fine motor skills as well as counting.

Fishing for Numbers
Tie or tape a magnet to a string and the string to a stick. Cut out some paper fish and label each one with a number. Attach a paper clip to each fish. Have your child roll a die and go fishing for whatever number they get. For older children, have them roll two dice and add the numbers together.

Woodpecker Math
For this activity, I glue pictures of a woodpecker onto paper "tree trunks," and label each one with a different number. Then I let kids pretend to be woodpeckers and punch the correct number of holes into each tree trunk using a hole punch. This is a great activity because it covers so many learning areas. Kids are working their fine motor skills while also practicing counting and number identification. You can also discuss woodpeckers, how they eat, and how that makes them different from other birds. Maybe you can even find a woodpecker in your own backyard!

Cook Together
Have your kiddo help you prepare lunch, or bake cookies together and have them help to pour in ingredients and mix them up. Cooking and baking are great ways to use measuring tools, practice fine motor skills, and discuss cause and effect.