How to teach your
Kindergartener Math with Games
October 23rd, 2005
Math can become a difficult task
to teach a child at any age, including kindergarteners. One way to
take the stress out of learning and put the fun back in is to play
games with the child.
In kindergarten the goal is to
learn number names and corresponding amount. There is also focus on
ordinals on first, second, third, fourth. There is also a great
amount on patterns and sequencing. All of the beginner math can be
presented in fun ways.
Here are some ideas for this age
range for ordinals. Have the child run a race with four people. As
each person finishes say this person is first, the next second and
so on. Have the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
on paper medallion. Have the child repeat the race a few times and
each time discusses who was first, second, third and fourth.
If you don’t have enough people
to race with, look for their favorite toys that they like to play
with. If it is a boy and he has race cars set up a race by having a
start line and a finish line. Launch the cars and see which one is
first, and so on. Have a winners circle on a piece of paper with 1st,
2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Have the child
place the appropriate car on the finishing position. Repeat so that
they a good feel for this.
If you have a girl you can take
4 dolls and set them up and have a tea party. As you are pretending
to pour out tea to each one say that this doll is first, second,
third, fourth. Have the child repeat who you served first and
second and so forth. The girls will likely tell how the order
by remembering and
make sure they say the first, second, third and so on. You can also
talk about things you do in the day and have them draw pictures of
the 1st thing they do and the 2nd.
Number names can be tricky for
the kindergartener to understand. They may have learned verbally to
count how many, but have not learned the number names themselves.
To introduce the number names in a non-stressful manner a game can
do the trick. You can have more than one player have some small
candies like jelly beans of M&M’s. Set out how many candies (you
can substitute poker chips) that you want them to write down the
number name showing how many or have a set of cards with the number
names. If they guess correctly they get the candy. If they are
getting to good move to the poker chip or dried beans and have them
cash in at the end for a prize. They can only win by showing the
card or the number name. Saying it out loud is good while they look
at the number name.
Patterns in kindergarten need to
be showed in as many variations as possible. Coloring and shapes
are usually represented in the classroom. You can have cut outs of
shapes made of felt. Using both unique colors and shapes on a felt
board start a pattern and have the child finish the pattern. After
a while of doing this have the child make their own pattern and try
to explain the pattern by saying the color and shape in an order.
Like that one is a green triangle, and the next is a orange square,
then another green triangle and another orange square, green
triangle, orange square and so on. As they get more practice with
this they will be able to do more and more complex pattern
sequence. Another kind of sequence pattern is one by speech.
Using letter names, if they are proficient with their letters, say
out loud A, B, A, B, and see if they can say the pattern. By having
a verbal pattern sequence is another approach and is always helpful
for the child to say out loud what is being learned. You can
physically do dance moves in a pattern, and see if the child can
repeat the pattern.
Other ideas for continuing the
fun games with learning are books that focus on math games. One
author, Peggy Kaye, has a series of books of games for learning.
You can also go online and see if there is any kind of game ideas
online. Leapfrog has a DVD / VHS movie called “Math Circus” it is a
fun way for the child to learn both number names, amounts with
addition and subtraction.
There is still a place for a
child to learn by workbook method as usually presented in the
schools. It not only reinforces what the school is doing but will
also boost there confidence when they are working on similar
paperwork in school. However, a reluctant learner
needs to start somewhere and games may be the first step in getting
the child hooked on school.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Common Keywords and Misspellings: Kaye,
kindergarden math games K games Learn number names sequincing