Hey everyone, let’s chat about something I am pretty passionate about…preschool!
Now, I have a degree in Early Childhood Education that I utilize everyday in my classroom. I know that importance of preschool and why children need to attend. However, are all preschools the same? Do they all meet the needs of your child? Heck no! They are all different. One thing about preschool that I love is when it is PLAY BASED! That’s right, play based preschool. We all know that children learn their best when they are engaged and hands on, so why would we take that away from the curriculum? Why would we insist that children get pencils to paper and work like an adult?
Allowing children to learn through play is something that I am very passionate about. I strive to make my classroom a place where learning can happen, while the children are playing. Which leads me to this question: is all play based learning the same? In my opinion, NO. There is play, and then there is learning through play. Don’t get me wrong here, I know that students learn a variety of things through open ended play. I am talking about the play that allows them to learn something specific. Let’s say, math play based learning.
I created this math unit to help your preschool and Pre-K students learn through play. There are 5 activities that your children can do to help them learn. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Game #1 COUNTING MATS
These counting mats a great addition to your curriculum. They are standard based and will help your students identify #1-10. Each mat has an adorable duck pond with a number in the right corner. Students identify the number and then place that many ducks in the pond. This is a great small group activity so you can test their knowledge. It is a fun way to asses a child without them knowing they are being assessed!
GAME #2 NUMBERS BINGO
Who doesn’t love a good game of bingo? These cards are large enough for little hands, and students will be able to read and identify the numbers with ease. I love to play Bingo with my class, and they love when they win! For the little students, I encourage them to fill up the WHOLE bingo cards (since there are only 6 spaces) and that is how they win. For the preschool aged child, it might be hard to hold attention that long so either the top or bottom row works just fine.
GAME #3 CLIP COUNTING
I have a dear friend of mine who is a preschool teacher and so I did reach out to her to get some ideas on what to put in this first packet and she suggested clip counting. Not only does it help with number identification but the clothes pins also help with fine motor skills which is an added bonus. This game is a lot of fun and the students love the bright images that are on the cards. Simply print, cut and laminate the cards and give them to the students. They will need to count the number of crayons and select the correct number on the card. That is number they will clip the clothespin to. This is a fun and interactive game for the students to enjoy year round.
GAME #4 10 FRAME COUNTING
I know what you are thinking, ERIN THIS IS PRESCHOOL! Yes, I know but let me explain. I have found that in my classroom it is best to introduce concepts to children in ways that they will be seeing them later in their school career. 10 frames are what is used in Kindergarten and if you teach a Pre-K class then chances are your children are going to kindergarten. Students do not know what a 1o frame is when they are 3 and 4 years old but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be introduced to it! These fun cards allow children to count the cupcakes and place that many markers in the boxes to identify how many. I love to use the target mini erasers with these games. They even had some cupcake ones that I picked up earlier in the year that go perfect! Any way to make the game a little more inviting and fun.
GAME #5 PLAY DOH MATS
What child doesn’t LOVE play dough? I know that it is a staple in my classroom (and I even have carpet!) If you are like me and love it in the classroom then these games are going to be a lot of fun for your kiddos. If you didn’t notice I added the ten frame again. Just another way to introduce this concept. In this game each student is given a container of play dough. They need to identify the number, make the number with their play dough and also roll out that many balls and place one in each square. This is a 3 step game so ensure mastery with each number.
I really hope that your class will enjoy these games as much as mine does. They love when I bring new things into the classroom and spice up their learning. Right now this packet is in my Teachers Pay Teachers stop for you to grab:
If you do purchase the packet please leave feedback for others so they know the benefits of the games in the classroom. I am always here to answer your questions so if you have any do not hesitate to reach out to me!