Kindergarten math ideas

I recently talked with a friend who was concerned about the cost of math curricula for her soon-5-year-old, doing kindergarten math. Even regarding my ebooks which I've given her free access, she mentioned how even printing costs money and could get costly in the long run.

(And I know some people can print things real cheap, but not everyone. It depends on your printer.)

So I told her, teaching math doesn't have to cost anything in kindergarten or the early grades.

It's not of utmost importance to do worksheet work. You can largely just play games and explore various things. After all, playing is what that age kids do best anyway.

* Playing board games where you roll one die teaches them to recognize the dot patterns on the die.
* Later on, playing board games where you roll two dice can be used for addition practice.
* After learning the dot patterns on a die, use dominoes as "flash cards" for addition. Or better yet, make a simple game out of it: lay them right side down on table, then take turns turning one and if you can add the dots, you get to keep it.
* Try 10 out math card game for learning sums of 10. Adaptable for other sums as well.
* Game worth 1000 worksheets - this is a simple card game. Deal two cards to each player, each person adds those two, and the one with highest sum wins the cards to himself.
* Make cuisenaire rods out of cardboard and play with them.
* Let the child play freely with measuring tape, scales, and measuring cups.
* Make 'ten-bags' or 'ten-bundles' with marbles or sticks. Then you can learn place value with tens and ones with those.

And even with worksheets or written math problems, you can write those yourself in a notebook, and thus not spend a penny. You can write as few problems as you'd like.

I used to draw many empty number charts for my child in her notebook.

I also often made missing addend problems with balls for her. She had to draw more and then write the addition.

You can use colors freely, and let the child color in this notebook. For example, write a few problems on a page, and let the child draw a colored box around the problems when done.

You can draw geometric shapes, or make (colorful) patterns to be continued, such as

square square triangle


All this should be totally free.


See also:
My ebooks.

Math Lessons and Teaching Tips - scroll down the page to see addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value, fraction, geometry and decimals lessons taken from my ebooks. Most of those aren't for kindergarten but for elementary grades.

Note especially Teaching tens and ones.
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