Want a way to get the kids obsessed with math? Get them to play this unicorn game. These Unicorn Mat Preschool Math Activities will engage even the most reluctant learners. This is also a really simple game! It requires just one page print-out, some dice and rainbow mini erasers.
Why are math activities important for preschoolers?
This question gets asked way too often from parents, teachers and homeschoolers! Well, it’s simple. kids between the ages of 2 and 6 learn by playing. I am a true believer in playful learning. Not only will you help kids develop important academic and life skills, but you will also be teaching important survival skills. Survival skills? You might say? For preschoolers – yes!
Here’s why: using games as math activities for preschoolers will help them learn to play the game, which teaches them patience and perseverance. They will also need to work in a group with their classmates to play the game and this teaches them how to work in a team. It’s a very important lifelong skill.
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how to teach preschool math concepts
Here are some quick tips on how to teach preschool math concepts whether you are at home or teaching in a classroom. I have personally done both. It’s so important to be mindful of what the kids know before starting any math activity:
- Always, always review number and numeral recognition. You can do this by showing your learners simple math cards, like these super cute bear themed cards. Or plain number flashcards. You can also see the full pack of number sense bear activities right here on Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Ask lots and lots of questions as you complete the activity together, this allows you to identify weaknesses and strengths simply by questioning. It’s also a great way to do a quick informative assessment of your students’ knowledge.
- If you teach a classroom full of 30 kids – try to probe the more quiet ones so you can evaluate what they know too.
- If the learners doesn’t know certain concepts for example like counting on or addition, and you’re working on numeral to quantity match for example, don’t ask questions to get them adding or counting on. You want them focusing on the new concept you’re introducing. This will also confuse them less as they understand what is expected of them during the task.
- Lastly, have lots and lots of repetition for the concept you just practised with your learners.
I have created so many counting activities which are also available on the blog. You can do a quick search or click here to see the posts.
Unicorn Mat Preschool Math Activities
Ready to work on math skills with your students? This mat is a simple one-page mat that you can print, laminate and store for repeated use. You can even paste it into a file folder and re-use it this way. Such a great idea!
- A4 paper
- Rainbow mini erasers
Print as many unicorn mats as you need for the number of students in your class (you could play these in groups). Be sure to laminate the mats so you can use them over and over. If you have an A3 printer, these would be even better printed on large poster paper for the kids.
How to play
Prepare and the laminated mats for use. You can choose to use rainbow mini erasers with them or definitely your own mini erasers that you have on hand. They also work with mini counters. The students will then roll the dice (use one die for working on numbers to 6) – they will identify and count the number of dots on the die. They will then grab that many rainbow erasers to ‘feed the unicorn’. If you’d like to use these with pre-schoolers, you can definitely do so with numbers up to five. If they aren’t ready to count just yet, a great way to get them practising number one-to-one correspondence is to have them feed the unicorn numbers that you vocally say, like ‘feed the unicorn 2 rainbows’ etc. Watch the learners as they do this in each group or one on one.
Ways to Differentiate
These task can easily be differentiated with your learners. So have the younger kids work on identifying the numbers and more advanced learners working on their addition skills by adding the numbers on the two dice. A great addition to yourpreschool hands on math activities!
This activity is hands-on and perfect for kids to use when they need a refresher or some more counting games and activities. Kids will love counting using popsicles! What a great way to reinforce a love of learning math!
Here are some more Preschool Math Activities you might like:
- Unicorn Links Teaching Number Sense Counting Unicorn Hairs!
- Counting to 30 Activities Catching Tadpoles Sensory Bin
- Counting to Ten School Bus Clipping Cards Free
Ready to download this activity?
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This Hands-on Dinosaur Counting Mat doubles as a fine motor activity AND counting. This is a favourite with our learners. Get this when you sign up with the form below.