4 Key Math Concepts for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are at a pivotal moment in their education. Even though it is just beginning, the essential elements are being discovered.

At this age, preschoolers are learning the foundation of word formations, such as letters. Additionally, they are learning so many math skills!

Today, The Toddler Lab is going to share great tips on 4 key math concepts for preschoolers! They are developmentally appropriate and will be sure to help prepare children for kindergarten. 

  1. Counting: Basic Counting, Number Names, and Written Numerals

Math for preschoolers begins with being able to count, which makes this the top key math concept for your preschooler to learn. Despite there being numbers all around us, it can be really hard to remember the correct order. Therefore, fun activities will be key for repeated practice with counting.

For example, I love to take a really big sheet of paper together and create 10 boxes. However, there can be more or less than 10 if that works better for your little ones! Also, paper can be taped together if there are no large rolls around.

After setting up the paper. I write one number in each box. Then, I write the name of the number underneath the numerical form. Thus, students see the number name and written numerals.

Next, I provide students with stickers. To practice basic counting, they will put the correct number of stickers in each box. This is a great activity because it does not require a lot of supplies, so it is low cost! Even better, the results are fantastic when practicing counting. 

Don’t forget to take time to just have fun with the stickers. It’s important. Really important.
  1. Adding + Subtracting: Adding is Putting Together & Subtracting is Taking Apart 

Adding and subtracting is another key math concept for preschoolers. This math skill can really overwhelm children so it’s important to take it slowly and make it fun. To help with adding and subtracting, hands-on activities are key.

Specifically, I like to use blocks when teaching this skill. Many preschoolers love to build things, so it makes the perfect activity. In addition, preschoolers can put blocks together to build something, such as a tower.

Then, they can practice subtracting by taking blocks apart from one at a time. They would do this based on the number being added or subtracted. Blocks are a great way to create simple yet powerful addition and subtraction practice. 

  1. Measurement & Data: Comparing Objects by Color, Size, Material, etc. 

While measurement and data sound really complex for preschoolers, this key math concept for preschoolers is actually really fun! Children often have so much fun comparing objects by utilizing different methods. Furthermore, they can even create data regardless of age!

To practice, I love to use sorting mats and a variety of shapes. For example, three pieces of paper can be labeled with small, medium, and large. Next, children can be given sticks, foam shapes, legos, or cut-out figures.

Also, it can be fun to print out symbols that represent different seasons to make the lesson even more engaging. Students can then sort their objects by size.

The papers can also represent three colors for students to sort by color. Additionally, any objects can be used based on the desired comparison. When students are finished, they can even count how many objects are in each category.

Can you think of any ways to compare or sort these items?
  1. Geometry: Basic Shapes and Finding Them in the World 

Even though geometry is a high school class, this key math concept begins at the preschool age. The world is filled with basic shapes. Thus, geometry skills can be learned through simple exploration.

I love to create an “I Spy” type sheet with pictures representing different shapes. To complete, preschoolers can walk around and find shapes that match their paper. For example, they may find a tissue box to represent a rectangle. Or, they may find a star in the sky. There are so many shapes around us that students will just love exploring!  

Fun tip, you can also use play dough to build shapes and talk about shapes as you create things with the play dough!

Preschool math can be overwhelming to learn. However, since this is the youngest age of students, it is essential not to turn them away from the subject. If they become too stressed, they can shut down and not like math.

Therefore, the creation of engaging activities is key! Even better, these activities demonstrate how to create activities using common objects. The fun does not have to be expensive or complicated.

If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming updates, join my email list to be notified as soon as all of the excitement comes out. Also, be sure to check out The Toddler Lab‘s monthly subscription box for ideas on hands-on activities with your little ones!