Preschool is a magical time in a child’s life, where they begin to explore the world around them and lay the foundation for lifelong learning. One crucial aspect of early childhood education is introducing numbers to preschoolers.
Numbers are more than just symbols; they are the building blocks for mathematical thinking, problem-solving, and critical cognitive skills.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the significance of numbers in preschool education and provide strategies, activities, and tips to make learning numbers a fun and engaging experience for your little ones.
Why Numbers Matter in Preschool
Preschool education is a pivotal stage in a child’s development, where the foundation for lifelong learning is laid. Among the various elements of early childhood education, numbers hold a special place. But why do numbers matter in preschool? What is the significance of introducing numerical concepts at such a young age?
Building Cognitive Skills
Numbers are not just abstract symbols; they are building blocks for developing critical cognitive skills. When preschoolers are exposed to numbers, they engage in activities that stimulate their brains, enhancing problem-solving abilities, memory, and logical thinking.
Fostering Mathematical Thinking
The introduction of numbers in preschool is the first step toward nurturing mathematical thinking. This early exposure helps children understand fundamental mathematical concepts, setting them on a path to comprehend more advanced mathematical ideas in the future.
Enhancing Spatial Awareness
Numbers are intricately linked to spatial awareness. When preschoolers learn about numbers, they begin to understand concepts like “more” and “less,” “big” and “small,” and “above” and “below.” These spatial relationships are crucial for their overall development.
Numbers are not confined to the classroom; they have real-world applications. Preschoolers encounter numbers in their daily lives, whether it’s telling time, measuring ingredients for a recipe, or recognizing numbers on a favorite toy. Learning numbers early equips them with essential life skills.
A solid numerical foundation in preschool paves the way for academic success in the years to come. A strong start in mathematics can boost a child’s confidence and competence, ensuring they are well-prepared for more advanced math concepts in school.
Introducing Numbers at the Right Time
When it comes to introducing numbers to preschoolers, timing is key. Every child is unique and develops at their own pace. It’s essential to recognize the signs of readiness and provide the right introduction to numbers at the appropriate moment. So, when is the right time to start this numerical journey with your child?
Signs of Readiness
One of the primary indicators of readiness is your child’s natural curiosity and interest in numbers. When they begin to show an inclination towards counting objects, recognizing numerals, or asking questions about quantities, it’s a clear sign that they are ready to explore numbers further.
While readiness varies from child to child, there are some general age-appropriate milestones you can consider. Most preschoolers are typically ready to start learning numbers between the ages of three and five. However, it’s crucial to be flexible and responsive to your child’s individual progress.
Learning Through Play
Preschoolers learn best through play, and introducing numbers in a playful and interactive manner can make the experience enjoyable and educational. Games, puzzles, and hands-on activities that involve numbers can capture a child’s interest and make learning a fun adventure.
Daily Life Integration
Numbers are a part of our daily lives, and integrating them into your child’s everyday experiences can be highly effective. Pointing out numbers on a clock, measuring ingredients during cooking, or counting everyday objects during walks can help children connect with numbers in a meaningful way.
Patience and Encouragement
Above all, introducing numbers to preschoolers requires patience and encouragement. Every child will have a unique learning pace, and it’s essential to create a supportive environment where they feel safe to explore, make mistakes, and, most importantly, enjoy the process of learning.
Creative and Engaging Number Activities for Preschool
Learning numbers should be an enjoyable experience for preschoolers. From counting everyday objects to playing number-based games, these activities are designed to engage young minds and promote hands-on learning experiences.
Online Number Learning Options for Preschoolers
The Math Curriculum Includes:
- Recognizing and counting numbers 1–120
- The base ten system
- Place value
- Addition and subtraction
- Names and attributes of 2D and 3D shapes
- Length, time, and money measurement
ABCmouse.com teaches numbers, addition and subtraction, shapes, patterns, measurements, and more! Our games and creative activities make math fun while giving young learners the practice they need to build a strong foundation for success.
Kids are born knowing how to do math! With HOMER Learn & Grow as their guide, your child’s math confidence will build Homer helps them extend their innate abilities.
Counting numbers to recognize quantities is a foundational skill in Mathematics. Knowledge of counting & fair practice help preschoolers learn addition and subtraction better. SplashLearn’s Counting Games for Preschoolers provide them with an exciting way to learn numbers by counting from 1 to 10.
Navigate mazes, befriend unicorns, and explore while practicing numbers, and other math skills.
Your littles will have a blast learning to count numbers with this fun and interactive game!
Numbers Songs for Preschoolers
Five Little Speckled Frogs
Also known as “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”, The Super Simple version of the classic children’s song has a nice gentle pace, making it ideal for nursery schools, preschools, kindergartens, ESL/EFL classes, and just for singing along with at home.
It’s a great numbers song for introducing subtraction and for practicing counting down from five as the five little frogs jump into the water one by one.
Funky Count to Ten Song
Here is another basic counting song for young learners that engages both body and mind! Your kids get to count from 1 to 10 three times (first slow, then a little faster) while following the little chick’s dance steps. This song will provide a quick moment of exercise and relaxation for your kids (and you 😄). Enjoy!
Cocomelon Numbers Songs
Fun numbers songs with Cocomelon! Learning numbers is fun!
5 Little Ducks
One of my favorite numbers songs for preschoolers! Count the ducklings and sing along to learn your numbers!
Count and Move
The perfect song for learning to count to 20! Turn the volume up, press play, and get ready to count while marching around the room. Try jumping and hopping or just about any other action!
Printable Numbers Activities for Preschoolers
Print out the free counting mat files on card stock or regular copy paper. If you’re planning on resting them for multiple students, I highly recommend printing on card stock or laminating them after printing on copy paper. This will provide maximum durability.
Use small counters to have students place 1 manipulative into each circle for every number.
Simply put, a hundreds chart is a chart that numbers 1-100. Number sense is very important for young learners and hundreds charts help to foster that!
In this set, parents cut out the snowglobes and cut them the printable snowglobe in half. Then, your child has to pick up a number side and match it with the right number of snowflakes on the opposite side.
Have your kids place a clothespin, dot marker, or other counter on the correct number after counting the fish.
Have your littles place counters on the ten frame to make ten, and circle the correct number.
Numbers Activities for Preschoolers
Hide numbers around the house let your little ones find them and mark the numbers off with stickers. Such a fun idea from teachmama.com!
Upcycle (or recycle) your empty cereal boxes into cereal box puzzles to help teach problem-solving and matching skills, and learn to count while you’re at it!
This activity goes to show how easy it is to incorporate learning into your everyday routine…even when eating a snack!
Snack Time Math
Get a dice, roll it. Count out the number you rolled. Roll the dice again and add or subtract that number of snacks to/from your pile. Do it over and over again till you only have one or two snacks left in the pile. Eat those and repeat! So much yummy math fun!
Math can be super boring to practice when you just stick to worksheets. But when you add in fun art activities and creative twists, math is suddenly exciting!
Books with Numbers for Preschool
This unique, innovative trace-and-flip book offers an engaging new way for children to discover numbers 1 through 20 and learn to count! Young readers can trace each number by following the tracks with a finger to become familiar with its shape.
Can you tell how many cherries there are? How many apples? In the brilliantly colorful My Very First Book of Numbers, children can find the number of fruits in the bottom half of a page that matches the number of boxes and numerals in the top half.
Count your way to sweet dreams with help from The Wonder Years/Hallmark actress, math whiz, and author Danica McKellar! This New York Times best-selling bedtime book with a math twist is perfect both for getting ready for bed and learning at home.
One hundred and one numbers climb the apple tree in this bright, rollicking, joyous book for young children. As the numerals pile up and bumblebees threaten, what’s the number that saves the day?
Poor Duncan can’t catch a break! First, his crayons go on strike. Then, they come back home. Now his favorite colors are missing once again! Can you count up all the crayons that are missing from his box?
From the creative minds behind The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home comes a colorful board book introducing young readers to numbers.
Introducing numbers to preschoolers is a fundamental step in their early education. A strong mathematical foundation opens doors to a lifetime of learning and success.
By making the learning experience engaging, fun, and age-appropriate, you can set your child on a path to mathematical proficiency and a genuine love for numbers.
So, start counting, exploring, and playing with numbers today, and watch your preschooler flourish!