Math Activities

Recognize Numerals 1–10

This is another year-end review. You may still have cards that you made from a game in Theme 4. If not, you can quickly make another set. Use index cards or 3" x 5" cards made from construction paper or other heavy paper. Write a numeral on each card from 1 to 10. Now you're ready to play.

Ask your child to look at each card in order and to name the number. If he or she misses some, come back to those cards several times. After he or she names each numeral a few times in order, shuffle the deck and repeat the naming process. Go back to any number that your child names incorrectly.

The next step is to take the shuffled deck and ask your child to put them in order, from 1 to 10, face up on the table. If your child knows more numerals, you can make more cards and add them to the deck.

Now play another game with the cards, this one a bit more advanced. On another set of ten cards (or more, depending on your child's progress), draw corresponding numbers of objects, such as one apple, two cars, three pumpkins, etc., until you have one picture card for each numeral card. Your child can use stickers or draw objects to help make the cards. Once the set is complete, your child can match numeral cards with the correct picture cards. This can be done on a flat surface, or if your child can play the card game “Go Fish,” this can be a new version to play.

Now shuffle the numeral and picture cards together. Deal five cards each to yourself and your child, and place the remaining cards face down. The goal is to make pairs of the numeral and picture cards. Start by asking for a card that matches a card in your hand. If your child has the matching numeral or picture card, he or she gives it to you. Place the matching pair on the table. If your child does not have the matching card, you must “Go Fish” and take the top card from the deck. Keep playing until all the matches are made. The player with the most pairs wins!

You can also play a version of “Match Game” by placing all the cards face down on the table. Take turns turning over cards, two per turn, looking for matches. You may want to start with the numeral and picture cards 1–5 the first few times you play. When you make a match, pick up the two matching cards and place them near you on the table. Again, the player with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.

Parts Make a Whole

Most objects, even toys, are made from many parts. You can help your child observe the parts that make a whole object. Use toys or other objects, such as a clock, a jacket, a television, a book, or a car. Discuss the parts, naming them with your child and talking about how those parts help the whole object work. You may have toys or objects in your home that you and your child can take apart and put together again. Your child may also be able to do this independently.

Making Patterns

You and your child can make patterns together, either drawing them or using small objects. Start by drawing or arranging a color pattern, perhaps starting with three different colors. Repeat the pattern in a line several times. As you make the pattern, ask your child what comes next. If your child needs practice, you can make a pattern and ask him or her to copy it. Continue to work together. Your child may want to make patterns for you to copy, too.

Some patterns can be made with small toys, arranged perhaps as one car, two blocks, one animal, one car, two blocks, one animal, and so on. This involves a higher level of difficulty and may not be appropriate for all children.