Saturday, February 9, 2013

Preschool: Valentine Number Sense


preschool valentine activity raleigh, chapel hill, caryPreschool in a Minute

Valentine Number Sense


One activity you can do with your preschooler in 1-5 minutes with something you may have in your home or easily get from the dollar store!  That’s it!  Preschool in a Minute!


Activity:  Valentine Number Sense

Materials:  Container with several compartments (an ice cube tray or egg carton work well), eraser or other hearts (all available at a dollar store)

Prep Time:  Less than 5 minutes

Age Level:  2 and up

Attention Span:  5-10 minutes (don’t be concerned if it is more or less!)

There are several ways to do this activity, but the idea is to be able sort by individual items or by numbers

When a child is learning to count items, it can sometimes be confusing for them to count one item at a time.  They need to get a "sense" of numbers, counting and what they both mean. Before even learning to count, you can work with your preschooler to put one item in each section of the tray you are using.  This way, it ensures that your child can put one item in one section.  This is called one-to-one correspondance.

So, sit with your child and talk about putting one eraser or heart (or whatever you have!) into each section.  Count them as you go.  1...2...3...etc.  Then take them out and see if your child can do it independently.  Put it away when not in use so no pieces are lost, then bring it out again during the week/month for some fun together.  My son always enjoyed it more when it wasn't out every day.

preschool number sense activityAs they advance, you can work with more number sense.  You can try these challenges below.

  • Put a small piece of tape into each section and put a number on them.  Ask your child to put the correct number of counters/hearts into each section.  If it is confusing, demonstrate what you mean by showing her.  If she is not able to count correctly, that's OK, but if this is very confusing move back to the counting exercise above.

  • Use a 2 section container (or 2 containers/bowls, etc) and have your child sort the items depending on design or color.  For example, you can have a set of pink hearts and red hearts.  Have him sort.  Then to challenge him further, ask him how many are in each category.

Do you have a great activity for developing number sense in children?  Leave your idea (and URL) below.

Would you like some ideas to help your child get ready for kindergarten?  Aimed at ages 2-5, this is filled with great ideas to help your child grow and develop in skills that teachers look for in Kindergarten.

Preparing Child for Kindergarten Download

Jen Benoit, MEd, loves Valentine activities and is using them with her preschool son.  She and her husband, Tim, co-own Tutor Doctor, providing in-home tutoring services to Chapel Hill, Apex, Durham, Cary, Raleigh, and the surrounding areas

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