Preschoolers are working on a variety of math skills including mastering color recognition, shape attributes, and counting.
Here are some fun ways to engage your preschooler while developing these essential math skills!
Sorting Essentials Assembly & Materials
Whether you are planning color matching and sorting activities for an individual child or group, these tips can help you get started.
This 39-page set has a variety of printable mats including:
Printing & Assembling Mats
Print the desired mats to use with your sorting materials. These mats in this set can be used all year round for a wide variety of activities, for durability consider laminating the sorting mats or placing inside a sheet protector. This not only makes the mats durable, it also allows the use of dry-erase markers.
This simple mat with the colors and color words are excellent for developing color recognition and matching.
Pairing these mats with fun manipulatives such as pom poms or theme related counters supports engagement in this activity.
Add in some counting! After placing an object on each color circle, invite your preschooler to count them using 1:1 correspondence.
To support this development be sure your child is touching each pom pom as they count. Be ready to support them with numbers they may skip by going back and counting with them.
Color words are included for literacy development and for older children learning to recognize color words by sight.
These large mats are great for sorting a container of objects or for gross motor color sorting games.
Try placing objects around the room for children to find and sort on the mats! This adds a lot of fun and movement to color sorting.
These large mats are also great for sorting different shades of each color. There are many household objects you could use or cut apart paint sample cards!
Invite your preschooler to sort small objects by color! Depending on their developmental level you can offer sorting by two different colors or more.
Use your favorite math counters, printable counters, or items from around the house (the junk drawer is a great source for random objects for sorting).
For older preschoolers create an opportunity for counting and making comparisons.
First invite your preschooler to sort by color. Then they can count up the number of objects on each side and decide which has more. Extend by asking them to compare the number of each object. How many red paperclips compared to the number of orange paperclips?
Learning Color Words
For older preschoolers learning phonemes and color sight words, use these simple mats with just the color word on them!
Start with two mats, choose two that have a different beginning sound. Children working on phonemes can figure out which mat is for pink and which is for blue by recognizing the beginning sound. Soon they will be able to recognize the color word by sight.
For children working on the sight word turn these mats into a game that uses their whole body!
Place the pages on the floor and turn up the music, pause the music randomly and have children stop on the nearest color mat. Encourage each child to read the color sight word. If they are struggling give clues by focusing on phonemes.
Color Word Matching
This color word version of the circle color sorting is another great option for older preschooler working on recognizing sight words.
Color Sorting Shapes
Encourage shape recognition by providing a variety of shapes to sort. As they are sorting encourage children to describe the shapes.
As children identify the shapes ask them "How do you know?" the goal being for the child to describe the shape attributes. For example "It's a square because it has 4 sides"
Extension: By providing a variety of shapes you can encourage children to sort by multiple attributes. Challenge your preschooler to sort items by both color and shapes. They can group the objects on the mat as they go. Ask them to show other ways they can sort the materials.
Sorting and Comparing Quantities
Work on sorting skills as well as counting and comparing quantities with interlocking blocks. For this invitation you could use Unifix Cubes, as shown, or other interlocking blocks such as Lego bricks. Provide 2 or more colors of blocks and sorting mats. Next, sort the blocks by color using the mats.
Next, connect the blocks, then set side by side.
Ask your child "Which stack has more?" then have them test their answer by counting up the blocks in each stack and comparing. This activity supports many different math skills including counting, cardinality, subitizing, and making comparisons.
Create Colorful Shapes
Slip the mats in a protective sleeve or laminate, then have your child draw shapes on the mats using the same color washable marker.
Fine Motor Color Sorting
Add alphabet foam stickers to add some literacy and fine motor fun to these math mats. Peeling off the backing from these stickers is a great workout for little fingers.
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