5 Activities That Teach Math Without a Worksheet

Is your preschooler learning to count? We gathered some easy & enjoyable, tactile activities that make the counting lots of fun for your little one! Plus, while participating in these activities you can also work with them on classification, grouping and shapes! Check them out:

  • Make Math Puzzlers

    Supplies Needed: Wide craft sticks & paint pens

    Activity Directions:

    • Write one question on each stick, leaving a blank space at the end for an answer.
    • Put the stick down & repeat.
    • When you have all the question sticks lined up, answer the question following the stick, making a chain of responses.

    Other Ways to Play:

    • Pick a stick & answer it. Grab another stick. Repeat.
    • Solve the puzzle, make the sticks “link” to each other.
    • Pull a stick, look at the “answer” end and brainstorm different ways you can create that number through addition or subtraction.
    • Sort the “answer” ends in ascending or descending order.
    • Have two kids grab a stick and hold it to their foreheads without looking. They will then try to solve the question on their partner’s stick.
  • Domino and Card Matching Game

    Supplies Needed: dominos & a stack of cards

    Activity Directions:

    • Have your child choose a domino and place it on the table or floor in front of them. 
    • Ask how many dots are on one side of the domino. Help him count them if needed.
    • Have him choose a number card that matches the number of dots.
    • Ask your child to find another domino with the same number of dots as the number card.
    • Continue this process forming a chain of dominoes and number cards
  • Money Game With Easter Eggs

    Supplies Needed: plastic Easter eggs & coins

    Activity Directions:

    • Use Easter eggs to create math stations for younger children and older children.
    • One station for basic addition of coins and grouping of coins, the other for coming up with a total.
    • For older school age children, you can write the total on the outside of the egg, say $1.58, or another random number.  Then you pick random coins and put them into the egg.
    • If the coins in the egg were too many, your child would have to remove some to make the total.
    • If there was not enough money to make that total, he/she would need to add more coins to create that amount and fill the egg.
  • Shape Collage & Dice Game

    Supplies Needed: various colors of felt (or paper) to cut into shapes, one large piece of felt (or paper) to use as a background, 1-2 dice, scissors & glue (optional)

    Activity Directions:

    Basic Shapes:

    • Cut out different shapes in various colors and sizes. You can have your child help with this (or at least try depending on how comfortable they are with scissors).
    • Separate the shapes into piles.
    • Place the large piece of felt down next to all of the sorted shapes – this is the background for the collage.

    Counting Game:

    • Select a shape & roll a die.
    • Count the dots on the die.
    • Place that number of the chosen shape onto the large piece of felt (anywhere your child wants).
    • Select another shape (or the same shape), roll & add shapes to the background.
    • Continue until you run out of shapes or your child considers the collage finished.
    • Remove the shapes and play again!
  • Water Beads Game

    Supplies Needed: a mixed pack of the water beads & containers that are different shapes and sizes

    Activity Directions:

    Use your supplies to ask your child the following questions…

    • Can you sort all the yellow beads into one pot? The blue ones into another?
    • How many orange beads do you have?
    • Have you got more blue water beads or orange water beads?
    • Can you fill the round container with one color, the square one with another and the rectangle with another?
    • Do you need more water beads to fill the round tub or the square tub?
    • You can also use the water beads to make shapes, or rank them into lines of different colors and lengths.
    • Can you make a stripy triangle with one pink water bead, two purple, three yellow and so on?