Need a hands-on math game? Try this shape graph for preschool!
Oh, graphing. When I look back over the years of our favorite kid’s activities, graphing stands out as one of the easiest to set up, with the bonus of being packed with a powerful punch. This shape graph for preschool hits it all; sorting, counting, shape recognition, and comparisons.
Eek! I am giddy to share this preschool math activity with you and cannot wait to add it to our collection of Breakfast Invitations.
RELATED: Looking for hands-on math activities? I have an entire list!
Tell me about WHY graphing is so important!
When children graph, they are practicing:
- questioning and problem solving
- number sense – what do five squares look like?
- quantities – how many more
- quantities – how many less
Bonus with this particular graph? Shapes.
First, we chat about the shapes
As my five-year-old looked at his graph, he happily began to name the shapes. I knew this would be my chance to add some information to the conversation.
Conversations with my five-year-old went like this:
“Oh, look, mom! A triangle.”
“You’re right! I see that the triangle has three sides. May I count them? One, two, three.”
See what I did there? I kept the conversation calm and added one little tidbit that would build upon his prior knowledge to make more connections.
RELATED: Curious how to help your child learn from the sidelines? MEET WONDER; PLAYING TO LEARN. An online workshop for parents.
Does my five-year-old know his 2D shapes?
I also know that the more we talk about how many sides and corners a shape has, the more it will become part of his everyday thinking.
This is why I am capitalizing on this opportunity to add a quick tip before carrying on.
PRO TIP: Take your time with activities. Children can learn more from an organic conversation than from a hard start and stopping point.
When working with toddlers, preschoolers, and Kindergarteners, I try to remember that what they chat about is more powerful than what I set up. Children need to build upon prior knowledge to help it stick, which sometimes means going in different directions than planned.
Next comes the graphing
Now, as my child works on graphing his shapes, I am sipping my tea watching on the sideline.
Sipping my tea? That’s right!
I am here, adding little conversations to his observations but allowing him to take the lead. I want to give my preschooler ownership in his hands-on learning.
We’ve graphed before, and there are so many to try. Our favorites are Color Toy Graph and Preschool Sock Graph. – worth checking out for your next graphing activity!
Let’s set up this preschool graph!
Again, this hands-on math game will be set up faster than you can print a worksheet from your printer.
Here is what you need:
Follow these steps for setting up:
First, tape down your white paper vertical.
Next, gather six or fewer magnetic tiles. (I like to pick about four shapes)
Add your tiles to the bottom of the paper.
Create a graph using your black (or colored) marker.
Trace the shapes at the bottom of the graph.
Add sticky notes to keep track of the numbers along the left of the graph.
When ready to play, place all magnetic shape tiles to the left of the paper.
We play preschool math activities in the morning.
This time of day works for us and pairs well with our predictable routine.
We call these Breakfast Invitations, which are simple learning games that begin the day with play. It is a time to connect over breakfast, and my child typically goes to play on his own when finished.
Not sure when to introduce toddler and preschool activities? Take a look at our Startup Guide to use as a resource.
Ready to graph? Us too! Let’s get started together.