Children who come into contact with numbers in a playful way at an early age will have an easier time with counting, arithmetic and mathematics later in life. Maths games for kindergarten kids offer exactly this combination of fun and learning effect.
If, like me, you remember maths lessons at school with a slight horror, you will certainly want to do everything you can to make your own children’s path into the world of numbers and quantities a little easier.
You don’t need a lot of equipment for this, but nothing more than a little ingenuity, because counting and maths activities are everywhere in everyday life. Here I have compiled a first overview of the most exciting counting and maths games for kindergarten kids. They are suitable for laying a good foundation for the beginning lessons in primary school.
In kindergarten, mathematics probably only plays a role in the last year before school enrolment. Many institutions then start hourly preschool lessons to ease the transition into primary school for the little ones.
If your child doesn’t show much interest in counting at this point, there’s no need to panic. The goal is to be able to count to five safely by the time they start school – a goal that school-ready children easily achieve in most cases.
You can get off to a much more action-packed start than with preschool units with a game that combines dexterity and counting. Special dartboards for children that are covered with felt and use Velcro darts have a simplified design with large, colourful number fields.
You also don’t have to worry about injuries or a dart wall protector as the darts, or in many cases balls, do not have sharp points.
The children’s dartboards allow the little ones to add up their points in a particularly clear way. This way, they get a first feeling for larger numbers and have a lot of fun aiming and throwing.
Maths games in kindergarten familiarise your child with counting, which at first is simply the enumeration of series of numbers. A first game in which there is actually a reference to quantity behind the telling of numbers could be number hopping.
You tell the kindergarten children a number and they jump up and down on command as many times as the number says. Those who can’t or don’t want to hop can, of course, also clap the corresponding number with their hands or stamp their feet.
This maths game can be easily implemented in the kindergarten by teachers as well as by yourself in everyday life with your child. Each time, the child’s understanding of numbers and quantities becomes a little better.
All games involving dice are suitable for kindergarten children to delve a little deeper into the world of numbers. Since the dice only covers a limited number range, your child will not be overtaxed.
For the first rounds of the dice game, however, a slow pace is usually required – and of course your help with counting. With each roll of the dice, you are asked to support your child in counting together until he or she has memorised the numbers.
Since this requires a considerable amount of concentration, especially for younger children, you should not plan an hour-long game of Ludo, but rather a less extensive game first.
Even if counting up to five seems unchallenging at first – some children already have clearly recognisable problems with number and quantity concepts in the last year of kindergarten. With special support, dyscalculia can already be prevented at kindergarten age.
For such purposes, certain board games are available that are exactly tailored to the special needs of these children. Here, clear visualisations of numbers and quantities as well as particularly frequent repetitions play a major role.
If you suspect that your child needs additional support in dealing with numbers and quantities, you should also contact your paediatrician, who can determine and prescribe further therapy measures.
Of course, you should praise your child for counting and naming quantities. This makes it more fun and your child gets positive feedback, which leads to increased self-confidence.
Every day there are counting occasions when you count the ingredients with your little one as your kitchen helper. Other counting opportunities arise, for example, when you let your older kindergarten child help you set the table. In this way, they can learn to associate the number of plates and cutlery with the number of people.
But even without counting, you can do a lot to make it easier for your kindergarten child to learn maths later on. Estimating different quantities forms the basis for understanding the relationship of numbers.
This is one of the maths games for kindergarten kids for which you don’t have to stick to the small number range up to five. Estimation games with gummy bears, coins or other small objects are popular here. All your child has to do is observe and make a guess as to which pile or jar has more or fewer objects.
You then do the counting yourself, which often results in an “aha” experience for the children. With these first introductions, children receive a solid basis even before they start school, on which it is already wonderfully easy to work in early mathematics lessons.
A guest post by Phil.
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