If you’re looking for easy ways to introduce early math concepts to your pre-kindergarten child, we’ve got just the thing for you!

You can stimulate your child’s grasp of the important concept of ordering and sequence by incorporating some simple activities and conversations into his time at home. Organizing and arranging sets of objects into a specific pattern using one-to-one correspondence will help him to understand the idea that numbers have a specific order (fewer to more) and that each number is one more than the number before. Additionally, performing and having discussions about these tasks with you will teach him valuable related vocabulary. These activities will be a bridge to the math concepts of numbers and counting.

What You Need:

    • Buttons
    • Measuring cups and spoons
    • Food cans and boxes

early math

What You Do:

  1. Show your child piles of buttons or other objects that illustrate few, many, and more. Have conversations with your child about what these words mean.
  2. Give your child nesting objects, such as measuring cups and spoons, to play with. This will demonstrate to him ideas such as smallest, small, big, bigger, and biggest. Nesting objects are also good for illustrating the concept of top, middle, and bottom.
  3. Talk about family order in terms of heights and ages. Who is tall, taller, and tallest? Who is youngest and oldest? Who is in the middle?
  4. Encourage your child to put food cans and boxes in order from lightest to heaviest, shortest to tallest, and smallest to biggest. Discuss the sequence of items such as first, next, and last.

Vocabulary Builders:

These are some good vocabulary words to demonstrate the concept of ordering. Use them at home whenever you can.

  • Big, bigger, biggest
  • Small, smaller, smallest
  • First, next, last
  • Heavy, heavier, heaviest
  • Light, lighter, lightest
  • Long, longer, longest
  • Short, shorter, shortest
  • Tall, taller, tallest
  • Small, medium, large
  • Top, middle, bottom
  • Few, many, more

Next time you visit the library, check out one of these books:

  • Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen. Putnam, 1996.
  • Is It Larger? Is It Smaller? by Tana Hoban. Greenwillow, 1985.
  • Blue Sea by Robert Kalan. Greenwillow, 1979.
  • How Big Is a Foot? by Rolf Myller. Dell, 1991.

Education.com has hundreds of educational games and activities for Pre-K through 5th grade. Help your child learn and succeed with their extensive collection of resources. Check out other math activities here!