3 ways to make math meaningful for preschoolers and kindergartners

For many parents, the thought of teaching their preschoolers or kindergartners math can be overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be! You don’t need to be a crafting genius or a math whiz to make preschool and kindergarten math engaging. There are many ways you can make early math meaningful and fun for your little one. Here are a few tips to help your preschooler and kindergartener with math: 

1) Start with counting. 

Counting is the foundation of all mathematics, so it's a good place to start with your preschooler. You can count anything - objects around the house, footsteps as you walk, even how many bites of food your child eats. This is something to continue to practice, even when you think your child has mastered this skill. 

If your child can count objects to ten, challenge them to count objects to twenty. 

Once they master counting to 20 increase to a higher amount that challenges your child’s counting skills. Counting well into the hundreds with third graders naturally opens up talks of grouping by tens, twenties, and even hundreds. 

preschooler counting

2) Use manipulatives (hands-on counting tools)

Kids in preschool and kindergarten need lots of hands-on math opportunities. Touching, moving, and manipulating objects make math more tangible. 

Manipulatives are physical objects that help students visualize mathematical concepts. Common manipulatives include blocks, counters, and dice, but you can literally use anything (dolls, cars, jellybeans). They can help make learning math more concrete and fun. 

Use manipulatives for counting and for solving story math problems.

counting tools for kids

3) Tell math stories.

Story helps kids to see that math is not just a bunch of abstract concepts, but something that they can use in their everyday lives.

Story math allows kids to use their creativity and choose their own approach to solving problems. And because story math is based on real-world scenarios, it helps kids see the relevance of what they're learning. This can make math seem less abstract and more relatable.

I have an awesome free resource that incorporates Story Math with a fun (and edible) hands-on counting tool - Gold Fish Snacktivity Math. This free printable math activity has 12 Story Math cards and 4 activity cards that you can use with gold fish crackers to practice some fun preschool and kindergarten math skills.

Grab some gold fish crackers and this free printable math snacktivity for preschoolers and kindergartners.

So the next time you're struggling to help your child grasp a difficult math concept, tell them a story. It just might be the thing that finally makes sense of it all.

Free Printable Preschool math activity with Gold Fish Crackers


We hope you've found these tips helpful! If you have any questions or want more ideas, please follow us on Instagram @blimeybox. We share lots of math tips and strategies!

We love helping parents make math fun and meaningful for their kids. And remember, the most important thing is that you make it a priority to enjoy math together. The more fun and relaxed you are, the better your child will learn. So get counting and have some fun!

How do you make math enjoyable for your little one?