PreK

# 20 Preschool Math Games and Activities To Start Kids Off Right

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Preschoolers have lots of important math skills to learn before they start kindergarten. Counting, number sense, sorting, patterns, comparing size, and so much more—these are all concepts toddlers need so they can move on to more advanced math concepts. These preschool math games and activities help kids master those skills in ways that are just as fun as playtime!

## 1. String beads on pipe cleaners

This is one of those classic preschool math games that has so many benefits for young learners. They get fine motor control practice along with learning to count, recognize numerals, and put numbers in order. All you need are pipe cleaners and beads.

## 2. Monster Dice Match

Rolling dice gives kids a chance to practice counting and subitizing. Get the printable for this free matching game at the link.

## 3. Build and count

You’ll find lots of dice-related preschool math games out there. In this one, kids roll the dice and then stack blocks together. They finish by counting the blocks all together, an early intro to addition.

Learn more: Hands On as We Grow

## 4. Flip Uno cards to make a match

Get some memory practice while you learn numerals. Uno cards, with their bright and cheery colors and large numbers, are perfect for this, but regular playing cards work too.

## 5. Tag the number

We love that this game gives kids a chance to move! Tape up numbers on the wall (or write them on a whiteboard). Then have kids roll a die and run to tag the number that comes up. You can play this game in other ways too, like calling out the numbers randomly yourself, or taping the numbers in a variety of places around the room.

## 6. Build a city

Stack building blocks and build a city skyline. You’ll get a different result every time, making this one of those preschool math games kids can play again and again.

## 7. Race to fill the cup

So simple and so fun! Grab a bin of math cubes or small toys and some plastic cups. Kids roll a polyhedral die (you can also try flipping playing cards or Uno cards) and place that many items in their cup. The first to completely fill their cup wins!

Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls—Fill the Cup

## 8. Hunt for numbers

Combine a sensory experience with some number practice. Fill a bin with sand, then bury playing cards for kids to find and match up.

## 9. Bounce a balloon

Everyone loves playing with balloons! Roll a die, then see if you can bounce a balloon into the air that many times without letting it hit the ground.

## 10. Build a beetle

This is just like the original Cootie game, but no need to buy anything! Just cut beetle pieces from construction paper, then roll a die and see if you can be the first to assemble your bug!

## 11. Create shapes with sticks

Toddlers need to master their shapes, and this is a clever way to do it. Put together sets of wood craft sticks (use the same color for each shape) and let little fingers turn them into triangles, squares, and other shapes.

## 12. Send bears into hibernation caves

Make “caves” from plastic bowls, then send little toy bears into “hibernation” in each one! Learn how the game works at the link.

## 13. Park numbered cars

Vroom vroom! Number your toy cars to match the slots in a cardboard parking lot. Kids will have fun zooming them into the right places.

## 14. Line up dominoes

Dominoes are fantastic math learning tools. This game is a sneaky introduction to addition, as kids count up the total number of dots on each domino and put them in the proper place.

## 15. Copy ice tray patterns

Seeing and matching patterns is a key skill for preschoolers. Placing pom-poms into ice cube trays with plastic tweezers helps them work on fine motor skills too.

## 16. Rubber Duck Math Race

In this game, kids race to see who can be the first to get their rubber duckies to 10 (or any number you choose). They roll a die and lay out tiles to move their duck. The twist? To get to 10 at the end, they must roll the exact number they need—no going over! Preschool math games like this help kids master counting to 10 and counting on.

Learn more: Happy Toddler Playtime—Rubber Duck Race

## 17. Feed the LEGO monster

Sort LEGO bricks by color, shape, or number of dots. Then compare the number that wind up in each bag to learn the concept of “more or less.”

## 18. Drop blocks into tubes

Upcycle some empty cardboard tubes by labeling them with numbers. Then drop small items like blocks or caps into the tubes to match the numbers.

## 19. Compare numbers to music

Prep for this game by using dot markers on paper plates as shown (visit the link below for more examples). Each kid takes a plate and uses it to “drive” around the room as you play music. When the music stops, they find a nearby partner and compare what they see on each other’s plates (e.g., “8 dots is more than 4 dots. 1 green dot is less than 4 green dots.”). Then start the music up and repeat!

## 20. Hold a shape scavenger hunt

Preschool math students are learning to recognize shapes in their environment and also to categorize and sort. This scavenger hunt does it all! Send them out to find objects in the room that match the shapes. Then count and compare to see how many you have in each category.