Teachers and families are always asking me what my “must have” hands-on math activities are for a preschool or pre-k classroom so I made this post with my favorites from Lakeshore. Students need to be counting and manipulating real objects that are FUN and engaging! Friends, these are all of those things!
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Nuts About Counting! is one my new favorites. Students pick a bolt, identify the number, and count out the matching number of bolts. These are self-checking so only the number on the bolt fit! Students can play with these independently in the math center. Do you see the two bolts standing upright in the photo? Students built a pattern with them! Students can count or make patterns with the same toy!
When students are twisting the nuts on the bolt, they are developing fine motor muscles! This simple toy is amazing with so many concepts and skills in one toy!Unlock it! Number Match was a favorite last year for sure! There is just something about keys and locks that kids LOVE. This set includes locks up to 20 but that was too overwhelming for my students during the first half of the year. I decided to only put out locks 1-12 in the bin. It is so fun to watch their face light up when it unlocks or problem solve if it doesn’t. If you are a kindergarten teacher, you may like to know that on the other side of the lock are number words. You can easily make it more challenging if you want to!
Counting Cones! Now I am so excited about these because you can use them in the dramatic play center as well as the math center! Students pick a cone, identify the number, and place the matching number of cones on top. Students can also make ice cream cone patterns with these too, or just sort the ice cream by color too. Again, so many skills with one toy!
These are plastic and easy to clean so why not place them in the sensory table with kinetic sand or shaving cream!
Letter and Number Dough Stampers Speaking of sensory, grab these number stampers and place on any play dough tray to sneak in math! I made this monster number play dough invitation to play with googly eyes, cut up pipe cleaners, pony beads, play dough, and number stampers. Number stampers would be fun to dip and stamp in paint too!
Counting Cars I’m always on the lookout for items I can add to the blocks center that infuse math concepts and skills! These counting cars are the perfect choice. The cars are different lengths so students are measuring and comparing sizes. In addition, they are counting the people and identifying the numbers on the cars!
Number Bots My students every year are obsessed with Alpha-bots so I just had to get the Number-Bots too. As they transform the numbers into robots, they are problem-solving and developing those tiny fine motor muscles as they twist and turn the small parts. Sometimes, I put them in the math center in a basket. Other times, I put the math robots with the Alpha-bots in my library center.
If you want more ideas for the math, blocks, or STEM center, you can check out these posts below by clicking on the image!
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