Many kids learn by playing, and kindergarten math games can help to set basic mathematical concepts into the minds of kindergartners. Math games are interactive, allow kids to play with important mathematical concepts, and may even allow young children to better understand basic math.
Basic Math Concepts for Kindergarten
Basic kindergarten math concepts center on early number skills. Kindergartners should master the following concepts:
- More and fewer
- Basic adding (with very small numbers)
- Basic subtracting (with very small numbers)
- Positions (top, center, bottom and right, center, left)
- Time telling
Kindergarten Math Games
Games are an excellent type of enrichment activity to add on following formal math lessons. Playing kindergarten math games with your students is a good way to help them experiment with the concepts they are learning during formal lesson time. Try the following games for fun and deepening the students' understanding of math concepts.
More and Fewer
Playing with dice is an excellent way to have kids learn more and fewer. You will need two dice. Have one student roll his or her die and note the number. Now have another student roll a second die. The two students with the dice must race to call out "more" or "fewer" based on the number of dots on the second die as compared to the first die. The winning student retains their die, and another student takes over the other.
Pattern blocks are an excellent way to teach kindergartners patterns, as are rhythm games like clapping and stomping feet. Lay out pattern blocks in a set sequence and challenge kindergartners to predict what will come next in the pattern. You can also challenge kids to provide a pattern for you to guess the next in the sequence. Using clapping sequences in patterns of long and short can also teach kids patterns through the use of rhythm. Clap a pattern and have the kids copy the pattern.
Basic Addition and Subtraction
Use the playing cards ace through ten for this basic addition and subtraction game; choose playing cards that have the number of the card drawn out in the suit. For example, a ten of hearts will have ten hearts on it, while the ace of hearts will have one. Have the children blindly select a card and then choose either two cards that add up to their original card or subtract to make their original card. Once they have completed the equation, have them count the hearts, clubs, spades, etc., in their equation to make sure that they are correct.
Use kids' natural energy and love of running around to play this game that teaches positions. Divide the class into three equal-sized groups, and then have children pick a partner from each of the other groups. Two children from each group will stand side-by-side while the third student stands at the starting line. Call out a position (right, center, or left), and allow the child at the starting line to run and choose the position that you called out with their two partners. Rotate between children.
Well most kids use digital clocks to tell time now, they still need to know how to use a traditional clock face to tell time. Use a clock with movable hands, and call out questions like "What time is it when you get out of bed?" or "What time do you eat dinner?" Have the children move the hands of the clock to the appropriate time that they do these activities. You can also have the children ask you "what time" questions as you demonstrate the time and have the students tell you the answer to their questions. Make the game funny by making mistakes in displaying the time, and make the children correct you by telling you to move the large hand to the left or the small hand to right, etc.
Online Math Games
There are free online games that kids can play that will help them learn basic math concepts. The following sites have good math games for kindergartners:
- Crickweb has a number of math games for young children that encompass many learning objectives including weights and measurements, money, counting and number labeling.
- Kidport Mathematics has interactive online games that teach important concepts like sequencing, same or different, longer or shorter, addition, subtraction and counting.
- Math Advantage has four online games that teach counting, sorting, patterns and shapes.
Math play can help kindergartners to master important mathematical concepts in a playful and fun environment. Why not put some fun into math by playing math games with your kindergartners?