Trying to introduce young children to math usually leads to tears, tantrums and frustration. Trust me, I know. To begin with, no active three-year old wants to sit still and push paper; not when he’s wide awake and ready to play. So worksheets are out of the question right away. Besides, you want to build a positive relationship between your child and the Math Monster and forcing him to mug up math concepts isn’t going to help. So how do you help your kindergartener build a solid foundation in math?
You’ll find the answer in your kitchen. You read it right. Think about how often you measure, count, compare and estimate when you are cooking. Your kitchen is a storehouse of kindergarten math games to teach your little one the basics of counting, measuring and numbers. Here are a few games to get you started.
Turn Cooking Time into Learning Time
Eating the Zoo
Skills – Addition, subtraction, counting and estimation
If your child loves animal crackers, here’s the perfect kindergarten math game for him. Pretend that a plate is the zoo. Can you put 6 animals in the zoo? Oh no …one has escaped! (Your child eats a cracker.) How many animals does the zoo contain now? (He answers, “Five.”) Continue the game by adding or taking away until he’s full or tired, whichever is first. Your child will master his numbers in no time at all!
Skills – Measuring, estimation, comparison
Line up all your cups, spoons and other measuring equipment and have your child arrange them from biggest to smallest. You could also play a fun guessing game with a metric system scale – collect different kinds of food and ask your child to guess which one is the heaviest and confirm his answer by weighing it on the scale. Your child picks up foundational math skills with these simple kindergarten math games.
Count and sort
Skills – Counting, sorting
Your kindergartener is new to the world of numbers – why not sharpen his counting skills with this simple kindergarten math game? All you need to do is place individual cereals in increasing order (up to ten) and have your child repeat the numbers after you. Here’s another easy math game that teaches sorting skills. Collect fruits in different colors (apples, oranges, lemons, etc.) and label baskets with the colors you have. Ask your child to sort the fruits according to color. You can play the same game with fruits in different sizes.
Want to raise a child who’s not scared of math? Give him plenty of math moments in the kitchen with these easy and fun kindergarten math games!
If you’re looking for more ways to make math less intimidating for your children, be sure to read my guest post about it over at Earnest Parenting! Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment about the things you do to get your child not to fear math. I would love to hear from you.