Roll and dot a preschool math activity that’s perfect hands-on learning.
Hello probability and statistics!! While those skills may be a bit upper level for early childhood, this roll and dot math activity is a perfect introduction – and gives so much learning goodness along the way.
RELATED: Looking for more hands-on learning activities? Check out my list!
Now this is hands-on math
Math in early childhood is best learned through hands.
We are helping our children build their understanding of numbers and learn how to use numbers – and we can’t do that with flashcards and worksheets.
RELATED: Looking for more preschool activities? I’ve got a great list!
We need real learning.
Learning with hands.
Learning by doing.
Learning by experiencing.
And that’s exactly the kind of learning that this roll and dot math activity will give kids.
First, the set up for this math activity is so easy:
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- Dice (but the one I used in this post is from the Dollar Store!)
- Dot stickers
- White paper
- Giant black marker
I first rolled out a bit of white paper – you can tape this anywhere. I went with a carpet activity. The floor and the table work great too.
On the paper, I made 6 spots, one for each number on the dice, 1 through 6.
I made sure to get our dot stickers ready by removing the middle white part of the stickers (see that hack here) to make it easier for my son (4) to peel stickers.
Now, it was time to “roll and dot.”
Here are the directions I gave for this roll and dot math activity:
First, I had my four year old identify each number on the dice. We’ve used dice in games his whole life so he’s great with subitizing (that’s a fancy word for being able to rapidly recall how many items are in a small group – like the way 6 on a dice looks).
Next, I showed him the numbers on my white paper. “Each number matches one number from the dice. One, two, three….”
Finally, I modeled for him how to do the activity: “We are going to keep track of how many times each number is rolled. We are going to roll the dice A LOT. Every time we roll the dice, we will add a sticker under that number. I wonder which number will be rolled the most?”
Roll and dot really is about probability and statistics…
But we don’t need to go into all that today.
Today is an introduction into collecting data for an event – how often does this event occur? Except we are doing this in a very introductory level.
This is hands-on math. Feeling the dice, rolling the dice, seeing the number.
Determining the number and then placing a sticker to represent when the number has been rolled.
This is some serious and significant learning for a little one – and all wrapped up in a nice playful manner.
A list of all the skills being taught/practiced:
- Number recognition – knowing the name of each number
- Number quantities – understanding that six dots = 6
- Recording data – practicing that one roll = one dot sticker
- One to one correspondence – touching and counting
Not to mention this math activity also promotes hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, independent play, and concentration.
This little activity does so much good!
And remember: it’s good for big kids too
With my 7-year-old, we looked at this activity and did start talking about the probability of number rolls.
We talked about how each number is on the dice six times and that with every roll there is a 1 in 6 chance the dice may be each number.
Little activities like this pave the way for so much learning in the future.