You can infuse math into your program all day long.

Circle Time

  • When you talk about the schedule for the day, use words like first, next, and last to describe the order (“Let’s look at our schedule for this afternoon. First, we’ll have a quick snack. Next, we’ll go to music. After that, we’ll clean up. Last, we’ll say goodbye and go home.”)
  • Every morning, play a game in which each child takes a turn clapping a sound pattern. The rest of the group then repeats the pattern. Play with the length and speed of the pattern.

Outdoor Time

  • Split kids into groups according to a sorting rule (but don’t tell them what it is!). You might ask kids with short-sleeved shirts to stand on one side of the playground and kids with long-sleeved shirts on the other. Then, ask kids to guess your sorting rule! Give kids the chance to be the “sorter” of the group.
  • Using chalk, draw large circles on a sidewalk or playground surface. Write a number from 1 to 10 in each circle. Give each child a turn to stand in each numbered circle and do the same number of movements (for example, four jumping jacks or four hops on one foot).

Clean-up Time

  • Turn clean-up time into a shape scavenger hunt. Give each child a category of things to find, like rectangular books or round plates. You could even try three-dimensional shapes such as cylindrical blocks.
  • In your classroom, label shoe boxes with the numeral that represents the number of items that belong in that box (for example, a box containing 15 blocks could be labeled “15 blocks”).  When kids put away toys, they can count the items and match the number of items with the numeral on the box.