15 Exciting Math Games And Activities For Kindergarten

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Clara shows Sidney two stacks of plates and asks: “How many plates do we have Sid?” Sid stares at the two stacks (does not even use her fingers to count each pile) and says “There are six plates, mommy!”

Sidney is all of four years old. She goes to kindergarten and loves numbers. So, Clara banked on her interest and used fun mathematic games to help her little girl get better with numbers. And now, Sid can add and subtract numbers as well as her six-year-old brother who is in grade 1. MomJunction brings to you a set of some exciting math games for kindergarten kids. You can try them at home or school.

Math Games And Activities For Kindergarten

Math is one subject most kids dread in school. Let your child play these fun math games for kindergarten kids, and who knows, he could fall in love with numbers, calculations, shapes and other maths concepts forever!

1. Number Bingo

Number Bingo
Image: Shutterstock

Bingo is a game only for adults, you say? Not at all. Even kindergarteners can play this fun game, for it is all numbers, numbers, and more numbers! The Number Bingo is a variation of the original game played by adults.

You will need: White cardboard, markers

What to do:

  1. Cut the cardboard into a big square, to resemble a bingo card.
  2. Write numbers from one to 20 on it, in a random order. You can skip a few numbers on it or divide the numbers to fit on to two or three such cards.
  3. If there is more than one child, you can have multiple cards, with numbers repeated, and give each child one or more cards.
  4. Call out any number between one and 20 and ask the kids to mark the number, if it is on their card.
  5. The first one to have marked all the numbers on the card is the winner.

What kids learn:

Number identification, regardless of their arrangement

[ Read: Number Games For Kindergarten ]

2. Fruit Math

Fruit Math
Image: Shutterstock

Kids are not necessarily fond of fruits. Nor are they of math, in general. So Fruit Maths? Trust me when I say that this is a fun game that might make your kid want to eat the fruit and learn maths faster.

You will need: Apples, pears, plums, or grapes, a chalk

What to do:

  1. Take two plums and put them next to each other, with an “addition” or a “plus” sign in between and an “equals to” symbol.
  2. Now ask the child to put the right number of plums as the answer after the “equals” sign.
  3. For every correct answer, the kid gets a fruit. Play until all the fruits are over or until the child gets enough practice.
  4. Increase the number of plums, add three numbers, etc., for practice.

Grapes, almonds, and even marshmallows can be used to practice math this way.

What kids learn:

Adding numbers, mental math

3. Abacus for Kindergarten

An abacus toy can be a great tool for early math lessons. The key, however, is to know how to use the abacus to teach kids mathematics.

You will need: An abacus toy for kindergarteners

What to do:

  1. You can use an abacus to teach the little ones basic math concepts such as ones, tens, hundreds, and the other places of digits in a number.
  2. The best way to use it with kindergarten kids is to learn numbers.
  3. You can play a game where the child calls out a number, and you show it on the abacus. When it is the child’s turn, you call out the number, and she shows it on the abacus.

What kids learn:

Early math concepts such as addition, subtraction, number identification, grouping, etc.

[ Read: Rhyming Activities For Kindergarten ]

4. Picture Addition

Picture Addition
Image: Shutterstock

No, we are not counting photos. The activity is about counting something specific in the image and adding them.

You will need: Pictures that you can use for addition – you can get templates online, pen or pencil

What to do:

  1. Start with an image of a ladybug with black spots on each wing.
  2. Then ask the child to count the number of those black spots.
  3. You can try this exercise with vector images of other spotted animals such as cheetah, giraffes, dalmatians, deer, etc.
  4. You can also place two or more animals in the picture and add the number of eyes, hands, tails, etc.

What kids learn:

Addition without using numbers

[ Read: Addition And Subtraction Activities For Kids ]

5. Food Math

Food Math
Image: Shutterstock

Kids love desserts but hate math. So here is a cool kindergarten math activity -bake them treats and make them learn math!

You will need: Cookies, M&Ms, cream

What to do:

  1. Bake biscuits or cookies in the shape of a gingerbread man, a cottage with windows, doors, and walls.
  2. Make sure that each cookie is divided into different parts, or has countable items. For instance, the gingerbread man can have buttons on top, which the child can count.
  3. Now use M&Ms to decorate the cookies as shown in the picture.
  4. Each time you decorate the cookie, ask the child, “How many M&Ms do you need to decorate the wall?” or “How many blocks does the window have?”
  5. Repeat the steps for each cookie.

What kids learn:

Addition, counting

6. Money Math

Money Math
Image: IStock

If your child has a kiddy bank with coins in it, you can use it to make mathematics fun. This pre-kindergarten math activity can be used to learn counting, addition, and segregation as well!

You will need: A few coins and bills – preferably different denominations – quarters, cents, and dollars (or one rupee, two rupees, five rupees, or 50 paise)

What to do:

  1. Take the currency out of the piggy bank and put them on a table.
  2. Ask the child to stack all the quarters, cents, and dollars in three separate columns.
  3. Then count how much of that currency is there and write the number down.
  4. You can also teach older kids how many cents make a dollar, or how many quarters make a dollar, and then make them add them all to know how much money they have.

What kids learn:

Counting money, denominations of currency, addition

7. Math Lessons Using Sticks and Stones

Math Lessons Using Sticks and Stones
Image: Shutterstock

Using props can be a fun way to teach maths to little kids. In this activity, we use wooden sticks. You can also use blocks or drinking straws.

You need: Wooden sticks, number blocks, or number cards

What to do:

  1. Lay different colored sticks and use them as props (like you did in fruit math game) to teach the child about addition, subtraction, and so on.
  2. You could start by asking the child to separate the sticks based on the color.
  3. Give him a few sticks of one color, and you take another color.
  4. Take one stick from him and ask how many sticks are left with him (subtraction) and how many you will have (addition).

What kids learn:

Basic segregation, addition, and subtraction

[ Read: Classroom Games For Kids ]

8. Jelly Bean Math

I know that I love jelly beans and I also know that kids love them too. This fun math activity is not just about eating the sweet treat, but about comparing and sorting the beans based on the color.

You will need: A bag of jelly beans, cups or tumblers to put the sorted beans

What to do:

  1. Pour the bag of jelly beans into a bowl.
  2. Place a few smaller cups next to the big bowl. Ask your kid to separate the jelly beans into groups, according to their color.
  3. Ask the little boy or girl to put the same colored beans in one glass, while counting the number of beans in each bowl.
  4. You can also compare which cup has more beans and which has less.

What kids learn:

Sorting based on color, greater than and less than concepts

9. Figure Buttons

Figure Buttons
Image: Shutterstock

Who knew buttons could be fun? This activity tells you the different ways in which you can use loose buttons lying around the house to teach mathematics.

You will need: A jar or cup full of buttons, bowl, sheet of construction paper and glue

What to do:

  1. One of the things a child can do is sort the buttons according to their size or color and put them in separate piles.
  2. Then, she can count the number of buttons in different colors or sizes.
  3. Make patterns with buttons such as three colors in a row, repeated until all the buttons of that color – such as red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue – are exhausted. Can she maintain the pattern?
  4. Make numbers with buttons – create shapes by sticking the buttons on the construction paper.

What kids learn:

Sorting(data), counting numbers, number sense

10. Pouring and Comparing

Pouring and Comparing
Image: Shutterstock

This activity is for introducing the concept of measurement. It also helps hand-eye coordination.

You will need: Measuring cups of different sizes, rice, or grain

What to do:

  1. Take a bowl of raw rice and ask your kid to pour it in each of the cups using a spoon. Let him fill them as much as he wants to.
  2. Once all the cups are filled, use words such as big and small to compare the measuring cups. Ask him which is big and which is small.
  3. You can also talk about concepts such as empty, full, half-empty, etc., to the kid.

What kids learn:

Concept of measurement, comparison

[ Read: Kindergarten English Learning ]

11. Shapes – Intro to Geometric Figures

Shapes – Intro to Geometric Figures
Image: Shutterstock

Geometry is complex, especially when you are in high school. But when you are in kindergarten, it can be fun. Here is a math game that introduces a preschooler to the branch of math.

You will need: Color paper cut into different geometric shapes

What to do:

  1. Use different colored sheets to cut geometric shapes. Tell them what each form is called – a square, rectangle, circle, triangle – and so on.
  2. Draw some patterns on the board or a paper.
  3. Give the geometric shapes to kids and ask them to create the pattern they see on the board.
  4. You can help them with the first one – ask them to name each shape that they are using.

What kids learn:

Geometric shapes

12. Marshmallow Math – Estimation, Measurement, and Area

Marshmallow Math
Image: Shutterstock

Marshmallows are sweet, unlike math for kids. But you can make your little one interested in the subject with the help of these sweet treats and this exciting activity.

You will need: A bag of marshmallows, a steel spoon, a clear glass

What to do:

You can play several games with a handful of marshmallows.

  1. Estimation: Add a few marshmallows (no more than 12) in a clear glass or bowl and ask the child how many he thinks there are in it. Let him guess – if he’s correct or is off by one or two, he gets a marshmallow.
  2. Measuring – Put a spoon on a table and ask the child to measure it using the marshmallows. You can play this game measuring his hand, mommy’s hand, a book or toy!
  3. Area: Ask your girl to draw a circle or a square or any other closed figure. Then ask her how many marshmallows can fit inside it.

What kids learn:

Number sense, estimation, measurement, area


13. Shape Sorter

Shape Sorter
Image: Shutterstock

What is the shape of an orange? What has four equal sides and looks like a box? If you want your child to know the answers to these, he or she has to learn about shapes first. And a shape sorter activity is just what you need for it.

You will need: A shape sorter toy (you can also make it at home using a cardboard box), wooden or plastic shapes

What to do:

If you are buying a shape sorter toy, make sure it has more than just a couple of shapes.

  1. Give the sorter and wooden or plastic cubes to the kid. Show how to use it once and then let them play on their own.
  2. Every time the child gets all the shapes right, give him or her a reward.

What kids learn:

Difference between shapes, one-to-one correspondence

14. Water Balloon Number Splash

Water Balloon Number Splash
Image: Shutterstock

Water balloons can be fun, especially if it is summer. Well, summer or not, you can use water balloons to teach kids math. We tell you how, here.

You will need: A bucket full of water balloons, chalk

What to do:

This game is played outdoors – preferably where there is a pavement or a concrete flooring.

  1. Have a few math problems (kindergarten level) ready. For instance, “what is 2+1, how much is 6-3, what is greater than 8, 9, or 7?”, and so on.
  2. Write the answers to these problems on the floor, using the chalk. Circle them.
  3. Give the kid the balloons and ask a question. Tell the child to throw the water balloon on the right answer.

Fun right?

What kids learn:

Addition, subtraction and greater/less than

[ Read: Math Games And Puzzles For Kids ]

15. Math-A-Maze

Image: Shutterstock

The Number Maze is a variation of “choose the right option” format. The game is about picking the right option and then finding your way there, which makes it challenging and exciting.

What you need: Maze templates (use simple ones for kids), a pencil

What to do:

  1. Print out seven to ten simple, easy maze templates.
  2. On the top, or at one end, write questions such as – it can just be “2+1=”, or “what comes after 8?”, or “what is the number between 3 and 5?”
  3. Give an option each at the other ends of the maze. One of them has to be the right answer.
  4. The aim is for the child to pick that option and find her way from the starting to the end of the maze.

What kids learn:

Logical reasoning (maze), ability to identify the right answers through calculation rather than guess work.

These games and activities can be played at the kindergarten and middle school level (to an extent). So, make the most of the opportunity to get your child interested in mathematics. Make maths a fun subject to learn, not a problem.

Do you have any ideas for a kindergarten math game? Share it here with us!

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