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How to teach your Kindergartener Math with Games

October 23rd, 2005

How to Teach your Kindergartener Math with Games

Learning number names

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.


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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer



Common Keywords and Misspellings: Kaye, kindergarden math games K games Learn number names sequincing ordinals


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM