Math Games for 4, 5 & 6 Year Olds

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For young children, games and learning often go hand-in-hand. As such, it can be important to help children learn simple and foundation concepts like counting, adding and subtracting in a fun environment so that they will retain the necessary information.

1 Counting

To help young children learn the concept of counting, have students do simple tasks like counting the number of students in the classroom, the number of balls in the play room or drawing pictures of their families and discussing how many family members, pets and siblings they have. In addition, you can incorporate simple counting games into everyday concepts such as asking students to count how many cookies or carrots they have for their snack.

2 The Circle Game

Print out numbers on pieces of paper (one through 10 for younger kids; you can go higher if the kids in your group can manage the higher numbers), one number for each child. Place the numbers in a circle and tape them down to the floor. The children will stand on the numbers and walk around the circle as you play music. When the music stops, the children must each find a partner (or two). Their task will be to add or subtract the numbers they are standing on. If they get the answer wrong, they are "out." If they get the answer right, they will continue playing until there is one winner.

3 Hopscotch Math

Hopscotch math can be played indoors or outdoors. Firstly, you will draw a "calculator" (using only addition and subtraction keys). If played indoors, you can tape down the "calculator," whereas if played outdoors, you can draw it with chalk. The children playing will take a stone and throw it on the one. The child must then create a sum. For example, with the stone on the one, she must hop on the one key, the plus key and then the zero key. The game continues until the student makes a mistake. The first student to get through all nine numbers wins.

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.