Inside: Playing with number quantities is vital for preschooler’s learning math. See how to make an easy math activity to work on preschool number sense.
Stop asking them to just count! Instead ask them “How Many?”
“How high can he count?” I’m asked this on repeat by other preschool parents and the truth is: I couldn’t care less how high my preschooler can count. What I do care about? His understanding of numbers – his number sense skills.
It’s not that it doesn’t matter how high my preschooler can count, it’s just that it isn’t the only thing that matters. I want to develop all of his number sense skills – not just his memorized counting skills.
Curious how I teach my preschooler? Check out Playing Preschool: my homeschool preschool program.
What in the world is preschool number sense?
Number sense is a fancy way of saying “understanding numbers and what numbers are all about”.
For preschoolers, number sense looks a few different ways:
- Being able to count from memory
- Counting a set of objects with one-to-one correspondence
- Recognizing numbers
- Understanding that a number represents a set of objects
That’s what we are working on today – understanding number quantities: that 6 means 6 of something.
How can dot stickers teach number sense?
Dot stickers are little pieces of learning gems – they come in super handy (and I may or may not have a slight obsession with them).
This activity is all about practicing and understanding that quantities: six dots and the number 6 go together.
How to set up this quantities activity
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On my big Kraft paper, I wrote out the numbers 1-6. I stayed with just these numbers because they worked best with my dot stickers. Ideally, I would have done numbers 1-10 but I couldn’t make that many dots fit on my beloved stickers.
I used a few sheets of dot stickers and printed dots on them. My preschooler’s job: match the dot sticker quantities with the number.
My son LOVED this activity!
My 4.5 year old had such a blast doing this activity that he had me make him extra sticker sheets.
When those ran out, he started making his own!
Apparently, he really loved this dot stickers activity!
What I loved was the time to sit together and focus on cementing the idea that numbers represent groups of objects. Here, the numerals are representing dots on dot stickers. It’s a big world of numbers out there and so important for kids to grow their number sense.
It really is an easy preschool number sense activity but it’s a good one. So good that my son has been making this activity for himself – which is pretty much the mark of a successful activity!
When will you try this preschool number sense activity?