Fun Ways to Teach Math and Numbers in Kindergarten

Letting children
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Many children, even as young as kindergarten, dislike math. That's unfortunate because math doesn't have to be boring. In fact, math can be quite entertaining, especially at the kindergarten level, because it's more hands-on and less rote memorization and computation. Teach math in entertaining ways to help kindergartners grasp math concepts while also enjoying their learning time.

1 Math Centers for Hands-On Learning

Math centers allow students to practice certain math concepts, such as counting and sorting, in an informal and entertaining way. Set out containers of small objects, such as keys or buttons, and encourage the kindergartners to count how many items there are. Build on that same concept by asking the students to sort the items by color, shape or size. Go even further by asking the students to create patterns with the items, such as blue button, orange button, blue button and so on. Provide the students rulers in another center and encourage them to measure things around the classroom, such as a bookshelf, a desk or a pencil. Provide dot-to-dot worksheets so kindergartners can practice counting numbers in order as another way for the students to work on counting and number recognition.

2 Play With Math Items

Send your kindergartners on math hunts to help build math understanding. If you're working on shapes, for example, hide shape cut-outs in a variety of colors around the classroom. Challenge the kindergartners to find a certain number, such as four blue circles and three red squares. Once the students have found all the shapes, see what different patterns they can make with them. This activity builds shape and color recognition, but it also give students time to practice counting. You can also do other math hunts, such as challenging the students to find three triangular-shaped items in the classroom or point out what numbers they notice around the classroom.

3 Blend Math and Art

Most kindergartners enjoy craft projects, and you can use that to your advantage to reinforce numbers and math concepts. Give your students large numbers that you've cut out of colored construction paper and encourage them to decorate the numbers with the same number of craft supplies. For example, for the number three, students might glue on three beads, three googly eyes or three craft feathers. Students might also illustrate math sentences with craft supplies. For example, kindergartners could glue five buttons on one side of their paper and four buttons on the other side to illustrate 5 plus 4.

4 Get Up and Move Around the Classroom

Act out math problems with your students to give them a visual and more concrete way to grasp mathematical concepts. For example, ask three children to stand up and then ask two more children to stand, which will show students what three plus two is. You might also set up a classroom store so students can practice adding. Attach price tags between one and nine cents to several items in the classroom, such as notebook for four cents and a box of crayons for seven cents. Let the students shop by selecting two items from the store and adding up how much the two items cost.

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.