Okay, so this preschool activity title is pretty cut and dry. Your child will put the numbers in order on the magnetic ten frame. The catch is that they will put the number in order through movement and tactile learning—the secret ingredients shine through when education meets play.
Related: Math activities have been on repeat since the toddler years. Here is our collection of toddler and preschool math activities.
I introduce you to morning activities
Picture this. You are an exhausted parent who wants to wake up slowly and not rely on morning shows. Sure, there are some shows I am unwilling to give up. (Bluey, I am talking to you)
But rather than start the day with screens, I desire to begin the day with play and bump screen time when I am toast. That way, I have a break I can look forward to.
We use simple activities such as this morning activity (we call these Breakfast Invitations), and they will transform your day from cranky to creative.
Craving a calmer morning?
Breakfast Invitations are simple learning games to begin the day with play.
What makes a math activity good for kids?
Let’s start with what does not make a good activity for kids. You know those giant workbooks that claim they will get your child ready for kindergarten? Please don’t fall for it.
Sure, some kids enjoy a big workbook. My oldest would go through them before bed. This low level of learning allowed him to review essential skills.
However, the way to make learning happen at a higher level is by allowing children to move, touch, and play. The workbooks would be locked in a vault if we weren’t doing both. – a slight exaggeration, but you feel me.
Related: Counting doesn’t stop at a ten frame. Graphing activities are another effective way to count with kids.
We know that playful math instruction will encourage young children to visit and enjoyably revisit math skills. We reach toddlers and preschoolers more effectively when they don’t realize the activity in front of them is genuinely a math lesson.
Making math playful for kids aligns with the naeyc sharing how they play games to learn math. Sticker number match, DIY board games, and bear counting surprises are fun examples of how to play games that inspire math.
It is no secret that the preschool activities we share here are kept super simple using many supplies you already own.
Your purchase will be well made if you do not yet have magnetic tiles. Here is a list of magnetic tile activities to come back to. They have been a hit for other math games, such as magnetic measurement and magnetic bowling. So fun, right?
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Here’s how I set up this preschool math activity
First, After collecting the supplies listed above, I tape a large piece of white paper on the table. This creates a working space for the activity.
Next, I put the magnetic tiles in two rows of five and made a ten frame. A ten frame is a two-by-five rectangular frame that helps create a visual for numbers 1-10.
The last step is adding sticky notes to each magnetic tile. I added dots so my child can touch them as he counts if he needs help with number recognition. A toddler version of this math activity is this tape idea.
My preschooler wanted to play on the refrigerator rather than the table. Great idea!
How to play magnetic ten frame
Once your child arrives at the math play prompt, invite them to take a look around. Quick thinking by asking, can you find the one?
Allow your child to move and grab the magnetic tile with the one on it and bring it back to the ten frames on the table.
Next, invite your child to find the number two. When your child returns with the correct number, touch, and count from one exaggerating as you review what has been placed on the ten frames.
“One. Two. You have two magnetic tiles on your ten frame.”
“Now, let’s count again. One, two, what number comes next?”
This helps build vocabulary and add context to the math activity.
Let’s get our littles moving when learning!
The final touch which makes this activity go from three to five stars is the placement of magnetic tiles.
Activating touch and movement when learning stimulates the brain. The perfect learning storm is when a child has opportunities to repeat play patterns and practice with skills.
Other ten frame ideas:
- Mini-stickers ten frames
- Kindergarten ten frames
- What can you make with 100 – Here, each section of the ten frames contains ten legos!
We play easy games like this for our morning activities. We call them Breakfast Invitations, and they invite play into our day. Other families in our community use these ideas after nap, dinner prep, or weekend connecting.
Think about your child’s stage over your child’s age. If they have not mastered numbers 1-5, start there! Next, you can move to numbers 1-10. After your child has mastered recognizing numbers 1-10, add on. Make this simple math activity on your child’s level, and slowly increase it over time.
When my child is not interested, I leave it out. Nothing (except stress) comes from a forced activity. I notice that when my child is ready, they will begin the activity. Stay chill, and your child will enter with curiosity over it being another thing mom or dad has asked me to do.