Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, these early childhood years, are a crucial time in development of cognitive functions. This includes foundational math knowledge and attitudes toward math, but also reading and general academic success.
Research links high-quality math instruction at the earliest grade levels to improved academic success through high school—and not just in math‑related subjects.
Why do the benefits of early math education extend beyond math content knowledge? It may have to do with how early learners are able to play with math.
Play that includes activities like patterns, shapes, and sorting are quite sophisticated. Research shows that early childhood programs that include more math also have increased free play, which promotes self-regulation and executive function (the ability to manage your emotions and behavior).
Parents are a crucial teacher to children at these ages, especially when school teachers or caregivers are only with children a few hours a day.
How can we empower parents to engage their young learners in deep and meaningful math activities?
Math Tips for Pre-K and Kindergarten Parents
Our collection of parent math resources share the importance of parent’ attitudes toward math, and how to engage in mathematical conversations and games with their children. But what about for the youngest children?
Math tips for parents:
Build math vocabulary by using age-appropriate math language (numbers up to 10, count, less than, more than, equal).
Expose the math in everyday activities (counting steps, sharing snacks, comparing toys).
Make math a part of your daily routine, just like reading.
Pre-K and Kindergarten Math Activities
This is a collection of activities that can be done with Pre-K and Kindergarten aged students.
These activities can be used for:
Family math or STEM nights,
Kindergarten enrollment fairs,
Or to engage parents and students as they wait during parent/teacher conferences.
Print out extra copies to send home with parents and keep the learning going at home!
Strategies for organizing the math activities for an event:
Set up stations (one per activity).
Recruit 1-2 volunteers per station.
Provide all necessary materials for the station.
A family direction sheet is available for each station. This outlines the activity, specifies how to play, and offers information around vocabulary words and questions family members can ask to promote thinking. All of the activities are designed for parents and children to play together.