Pre Math


The Pre-Math area we will focus on this month corresponding to the State of Kansas Early Childhood Standards will be Standard 3: Demonstrates an understanding of geometric and spatial sense. Benchmark 3.2 states: Recognizes geometric shapes and their attributes. December activities will feature Christmas items and how your birth to-6 year-old will enjoy these items while growing intellectually in the Pre-Math area.

Activities to create higher level thinking skills in Pre-Math:
Birth to 6 month
Hold infant up close to the tree to see lights twinkle on and off and the shape of ornaments. Help guide their hand to bat at the dangling object. As Christmas music plays, rock your baby, sing, touch-massage and enjoy the sounds of the season. Imagine Mary holding Baby Jesus, trying to meet his needs in a humble stable.

6-12 months
• Large boxes unwrapped from Christmas can create fun tunnels to crawl through.
• Bottom 2 feet of the tree may have ornaments taken off with little fingers.
• While cooking in kitchen, give your little one a whisk and metal bowl for noise making.

1 year-old
May enjoy their afternoon snack wrapped and taped in tissue paper and taped. What fun to tear it open before eating! Wooden puzzles with individual shapes and small peg handle on each shape to grasp, would be fun at this age.

3-6 year-old Create Christmas Ornaments
Onto a pipe cleaner, add various colorful beads found at a craft store. The older the child, the more complex the bead pattern could be created on each ornament. Homemade ornaments might be a fun gift to share with grandparents.

Ornament Math
• Take 10 ornaments off the tree. Use them to demonstrate the different sizes; big, medium, and small. Place back
on tree when done.
• Create addition story problems using some of the ornaments. For example: I have 2 ornaments and I bring over 1 more. How many ornaments do I have all together? Help your child see there are 1, 2, 3 –3 ornaments all together.

Christmas Card Puzzle
Cut off the colorful side of an old Christmas card. Create a puzzle by cutting the picture into 3, 5, or 7 large pieces. (The older the child the more puzzle pieces.)

Christmas Card Matching
You will need 10 old cards with plain side covered with colorful contact paper. Trim all cards the same size. Cut each in half to make a set of 20 playing cards. Place picture side down. Each person will take turns turning over 2 cards to see if they match. If they do, you’ll take another turn. If not, simply turn back over.

When creating math experiences, try to include in real-life, hands-on math activities to introduce young children to numbers and math concepts. Here are some categories and words to use in a sentence and show in real-life experiences:
Time: hours, days, months, years; older, younger; yesterday, today, tomorrow.
Size and portions: large, small; tall, short; thin, thick; wide, narrow; half, whole; full, empty; light, heavy.
Shapes and patterns: circle, square, triangle, rectangle; round, sphere, star, cone.
Measurement: inches, feet, yards, miles, pounds.
TOOLS FOR MOTHERHOOD GRADUATES share some of the activities they did with their children.

Getting into "shape" running game By Heather, Topeka

1 & 4 years old I cut out shapes (i.e. triangle, square, heart, star and oval) from an old shirt. I spread them throughout the yard in no particular order. Then on an old red block I drew the shapes to make our "die". Then we took turns "rolling" the die and picking the corresponding shape around the yard. The first person to get 1/2 of the number of shapes wins. We had 14 shapes so we figured out what 1/2 was by putting them in two different piles and counting them, so 7. I also played that if you get a match for a shape you already had you got to roll again. Towards the end of the game we started running out of shapes that we were rolling so just because you start the game doesn't automatically mean you will win the game; In this case your turn is over without picking up a shape. Zoe "really liked this game and wants to play again." Lexi followed Zoe around to find the shapes and enjoyed "rolling" or throwing the block/die for us too.

Changes I would make: Well, I could have made less shapes and left a blank "lose a turn" side on the die. I think when Zoe gets to start reading instead of the shapes on a block I can write the words that she can sound out and read to find out what to pick up. For Lexi I would cut the shapes from different colors so she can learn both shapes and colors-again change block or just call out.

Would you recommend? Oh, yeah! Quick, easy, cheap, grows with the child. Easy and fun even for Lexi's age and burns off some of that excess energy. Also can play hide/seek with the shapes indoors.

3 years of age Patterns with Shapes... Kahle wrote, I cut out shapes various sizes of square, triangle, and circle. I then started patterns and had Kaihtlyn finish them. She did a great job of this. Next I gave her the shapes and asked her to put them in piles. She separated them by shape and then by color!

Any changes? I would add more shapes and maybe textures to this activity.

Recomendations: Yes, but realize it goes quickly and my three year old seemed to get bored by this fairly quickly.

Christmas Time suggestion: If you have several of the same ornaments on the tree, you could take them down and play a sorting game with them.

9 Months Old
I showed my son how to take the rings that stack o a tower and put them on in order. He struggles getting them on when we first began playing, but I can tell he gets the idea after a few trys. I have to help him and model for him how to do it as we begin to learn the activity, but we will keep working until he can do it along.--Joanna

18 Months I gave Lexi a muffin tin and 12 golf balls to put in each spot. She did that really well. It taught her one-to-one correspondence which is a very important Math concept... plus it kept her busy by herself for a time.--Heather

2 1/2 Years Old I got online and found some different sized pumpkin templates (small, medium and large) that I printed out on white paper. I am no artist and wanted to make sure the pumpkins looked like pumpkins. I made sure to make 10 of them. Seth then colored all the pumpkins orange and I put a number 1-10 on each pumpkin. We then cut them out. I also made separate numbers on little pieces of paper to sorrespond with the numbers on the pumpkin. We folded the little numbers and put them in a cup and spread out all of our other pumpkins so we could see what numbers were on them. Pumpkins numbered 1-4 were "small" pumpkins. Pumpkins numbered 5-7 were "medium sized" pumpkins. Pumpkins numbered 8-10 were "large/big" pumpkins. I made sure to point out the different sizes to Seth to start explaining the concept that some things are smaller/bigger than others. With the numbers in the cup I had Seth draw out 1 number at a time, after giving the cup a good shake of course. When he pulled out a number he told me what the number was and then he found the matching pumpkin. You could use whatever shape/item you want. Since it was October and Seth loves pumpkins it was the natural choice. I personally wouldnt change a thing on the activity, but someone else might want to change the object used. For example if it is November you could use turkeys or Christmas Trees for December.--Shannon