Hands-On Math Learning For Kindergarten and First Grade

I am all about making math fun for my 6 year old this year, so I’ve taken the various math concepts we will be focusing on and turned to the fabulous Mommas of the internet blogging world to share their ideas on how to make math fun, hands-on and, did I mention, fun?

This is by no means an all inclusive list. Have some other ideas?  Please add them to the comments, including links to your favorite math activities.

Addition (Number Bonds)
Adding a number plus 1,  adding a number plus 0, adding numbers to 10, adding numbers to 20.
Adding numbers with golf tees stuck into play dough from Glittering Muffins.
Addition number family with plastic eggs from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
Adding gold fish and reading One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
Adding 0 to 20 with free frog printables from Living Life Intentionally.
“Use water balloons. I write math problems in chalk and whatever one the water balloon hits he has to answer. Or, the reverse; he hits a number that’s written and has to come up with a problem for it.” ~from Eddie, at The Usual Mayhem
“Get an inexpensive soccer ball and write math problems on each piece with a Sharpie. Whatever their thumb is touching when they catch the ball is the one they have to answer before throwing back to you.” ~from Eddie, at The Usual Mayhem

Subtraction
Subtracting one from any number, subtracting zero from any number, subtract numbers from 10, subtract numbers from 20.
Using legos to subtract (or add) from Kids Activities Blog.
Subtract the fish from Living Montessori Now.
Bowling math: Add and subtract number of pins that fell/still standing. From Royal Balloo.

Telling Time
Recognizing time on the hour, recognizing time on the half hour, understanding times of day with daily activities (12:00 noon is lunch time for example).
Positioning the children on a sidewalk chalk clock from Who Would’ve Thought?
Clock dice game from Stamp-n-Design Store.
Make a hoola hoop clock and use human arms as the clock’s hands from Two Can Do It.

Skip Counting

by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s
Planting a number garden with skip counting from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
Make a skip counting game for 2’s and 5’s with these printable hands and feet from Step Into Second Grade.
Make our skip counting cupcakes.
Play skip-count hopscotch:

The Queen Bee playing hopscotch by 4’s.

Measuring
Length, weight, volume.
Measuring with legos, shoes or bananas! As well as measuring different pipe cleaners and sorting them by length from Montessori Tidbits.
Measuring and comparing weights of objects on a scale from Nurture Store.
Measuring with Lego from Nurture Store.

Comparison and Graphing
Compare and graph ages using Unifix cubes from Frugal Fun 4 Boys.
Basic Fractions
Halves, quarters, fourths, eighths, thirds.
Using measuring cups to teach fractions from Montessori Tidbits.
Printable fraction strips from Montessori Tidbits.
Cooking with kids and cutting in fractions (a cake, pie, pizza, or whatever is in the pan) from Nurture Store.

Numbers to 100
Recognize all numbers up to 100 when given randomly.
Water balloon target practice from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.
Put number cards on the floor or write with sidewalk chalk outside. Have your child use a flyswatter to whack the number as you call it out. Or a magic wand to put a spell on it.  ~From Eddie at The Usual Mayhem.
Greater Than Less Than:  Alligator Math from PreK + K Sharing.

Money
Coin values, what makes a dollar, paying for items, making change.
Here our our games for learning coin values, including a file folder game and a sorting game.
Understanding coin values with the Fair/Not Fair game from Frugal Fun 4 Boys.
Printable coin cards and setting up a store to go shopping at home from Counting Coconuts.
Another great store at home to teach kids money skills, and many more money game ideas from Alissa  Roberts on Hub Pages.

Place Value
1’s, 10’s and 100’s
Place value with beads from Mrs. T’s First Grade Class.
Place value sliders with paint chip cards from Tattling to the Teacher.
Marshmallow and cereal place value game from Babbling Abby.

Ordinal Numbers
1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on.
Our ordinal number toy game.  

Counting down calendar events with paper chains.

Calendar
Here are our activities for learning about the calendar in kindergarten.
Here’s what we do when the calendar changes to a new year.
Counting down to an event on the calendar with paper chains.

Advanced Shapes

hexagon, pentagon, octagon, etc.
Make a cube out of straws and string, then use it to form shapes like hexagon, trapezoid, square pyramid, and more from Crafty Moms Share.


Tape shapes on the table and fill them with blocks. This post is for preschoolers but could be adapted for older kids with more advanced shapes, from Teach Preschool.


Use geoboards and rubber bands to make shapes like we did here.

Do your kids like to learn in a hands-on way? For more hands-on learning ideas, follow me on Pinterest: Hands-On Math,  Hands-On Literature, Hands-On History and Hands-On Science.

Comments

  1. WOW! Thanks SO much for putting all of these great resources together! I’ve already started printing the Ocean Pack, now to fire up that laminator! ;) Awesome, awesome, awesome! Thanks again!

  2. We’ve used two math “toys” with our six year old:

    Japanese Soroban. This isn’t a toy abacus- it is actually used to teach math to elementary kids in Japan.

    DragonBox. This an algebra game for mobile devices and Mac.

    I personally like the juxtaposition of ancient to high tech between these activities…

  3. Krista C. says:

    Thanks for putting all of this together. I have a first grader who hates school every time it means sticking a pencil in her hand, BUT if I hand her rubberbands or chalk or goldfish crackers or plastic eggs WOW can that kid ever whiz through a math problem, lol. I pinned this post on my Math Board, this is totally how we think in our homeschool and we’ll be doing all these activities!

  4. Fabulous post! I’m sure many children will thank you for adding more fun to math experiences :-)

  5. We love your resources. Have a look at ours too. We offer instant downloads for activities that would complement yours!

  6. Cynthia Santos says:

    I’ve always taught my children (& now Grand-children, cousins, etc) multiplication by singing songs or showing them the funny things about the answers. Ex.:1 times any number always say their names, (1×1 is 1, 1×2 is 2, 1x 3 is 3 one times any number will always stay the same. . 9’s is like a ladder going up on the left & down on the right. etc. . I teach everything by singing.:

  7. As a mom of two boys who really do not enjoy math, I think this is just great! If only all learning could be so fun! Pinning to my educational fun board!

  8. What a great round-up! To be honest, unless it is a game, the only time I do hands-on math is if it is in our curriculum, or for our 100th day of school. Wonderful inspiration here!

  9. I teach kindergarten. These are excellent ways to have fun practicing math! I use chocolate bars to demo, then let students practice making fractional parts.

  10. So many great ideas! Pinned for use this year in homeschool!

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