Written by Guest Contributor Loren Thorpe
Enjoy being outside and sneak in a little learning with these simple summer math activities.
We are huge advocates for being outside and exploring nature. We also believe that summers should be cherised. You don’t need to fill your days with educational activities, in fact we recommend you enjoy the break. But if you are needing an activity to get your kids to go outside or to spark their creativity, we’ve go you covered with 8 super simple summer math activities for preschoolers. These math activities that will encourage new learning to take place while you and your little ones enjoy this summer.
8 Math Activities for Preschoolers
Sort and Count Things that You Find Outside
Summer offers us more opportunities to go outside. We can use this time as a chance to practice math skills like sorting and counting.
You could try asking your children to count all the trees, or to gather leaves from the ground that you’ll sort into groups later.
If you want to start introducing larger numbers, try counting the steps you take together as you go for a walk, and see how high you can count to.
Go on a Shape Scavenger Hunt
Another fun way to incorporate an outdoor math activity is to go exploring with a shape scavenger hunt!
See how many shapes you can find in nature or as you pass other houses and buildings.
You might like to record the shapes you find by drawing them or taking photos. Otherwise, simply discuss the shapes you see and allow that rich learning to unfold.
There are so many songs that you can learn with your children to help teach them math concepts.
Doing a simple search for ‘math songs’ on YouTube will help you discover songs about counting, adding, shape, money, and more.
Use these songs when your children need to get their energy out, and after a while you’ll all be able to sing them from memory.
Then, whether you’re going for a drive, or playing in the backyard, you can easily bring these songs up for a math sing-along.
The Ants Go Marching by Super Simple Songs is a favorite around here.
I think that cooking is one of the most underrated math activities.
This summer take the time to learn and cook together, and there are so many opportunities to discuss math while you do this.
You can have your children help with:
- measuring ingredients
- counting the items you’re using
- time how long it takes for the food to cook
- count backwards as you use the microwave
- figure out how to evenly divide the cookies you made amongst the members of the family
Hopscotch is a simple classic that is great for children who are learning early counting skills.
Have your children help you set up the hopscotch space and then talk about the numbers as you play.
For a more advanced activity, you could do skip counting hopscotch, where each square goes up by two numbers. Or, you can count backwards by starting from the finish end.
Many children already love when they have a chance to try out different sports.
You can turn this into a math activity by having your children help you with setting up the equipment or counting to make sure all of the items are ready.
They could also help count out the members of each team, if you are playing a team sport, or help you with scoring.
Number of the Day
Having a number of the day is a simple way to keep the discussion going about math.
To use this strategy, simply choose a number to focus on at the start of the day. Have a discussion about that number over breakfast.
Ask questions such as:
- Is it odd or even?
- What numbers come before and after it?
- How do you write it?
- How do you say it?
Continue these questions throughout the day as you go about your usual routine. If your number is 2:
- Ask your child to find 2 shoes to wear before you go outside
- Pick 2 flowers from the garden
Over time, you can even start comparing the number of the day to the number you had the day before for a deeper conversation.
Check the temperature
We often talk about the temperature when it’s hot outside, so why not use this as an opportunity to teach about the concept of temperature and how it’s measured?
If you have a thermometer at home or in your car, draw your child’s attention to the numbers and explain what they mean.
If you want to go a step further, you could even have them compare Fahrenheit and Celsius measurements to see how people in other parts of the world measure the temperature.
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I hope this post inspires you to try some new summer math activities with your children! I would love to connect with you to hear how these ideas worked for you and your little ones!
Loren Thorpe is an elementary teacher turned stay-at-home-mom, who is passionate about equipping other teachers and parents to support their little learners. She is the founder of Blue Sky Designs by Mrs T , which provides purposeful content and practical resources to assist teachers and parents as they empower and encourage their children at home and in the classroom. You can get to know Loren more by connecting with her through her Facebook Page or Blog . Whether you’re looking for activity ideas to fill your baby’s playtime, teaching your child to read, or trying to introduce the concept of addition, she has plenty more ideas to share with you!