BlogTeaching ResourcesHow To Teach Math To Kindergarten: 13 Best Ways

How To Teach Math To Kindergarten: 13 Best Ways

Teaching math to kindergarten kids is a big step in their growing up. Math is important because it helps kids think better and solve school and home problems. We want to make sure little ones like math and see how it is used in many ways every day.  This blog will explore how to teach math to kindergarten kids in a simple and fun manner.

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We will discuss how to help them understand numbers, counting, adding, subtraction and shapes. These are the building blocks that will help them in school and life. Let’s make math fun and easy for them to learn!

Related Reading: Math Activities for Kindergarten

1. Number Recognition & Counting

0 9 Number counting worksheet

When kids start kindergarten, one of their first math skills is recognizing numbers and counting. Counting is important because it’s the start of all math. A study by Jordan et al. (2009) found that children’s grasp of numbers and counting at first grade significantly impacted their math achievements in that year and third grade. This means that children’s number recognition and counting skills in kindergarten can profoundly affect their continued success in mathematics.

4 Fun Ways to Teach Kids Number Recognition & Counting

1. Digital Counting Games

Counting game

There are games on computers and tablets that make counting like playing. Kids can count along with the game and even get points for getting it right. 

It can be challenging to capture the attention of young learners. That’s why digital counting games are designed to educate and enchant. Say goodbye to the frustration of teaching basic math concepts and hello to a world where learning feels like play. Add number recognition and counting games to boost your child’s number recognition and counting skills:

2. Counting with Physical Objects: Using things kids can touch, like blocks or toys, makes counting real. They can see the numbers grow as they add more things to count.

3. Number Scavenger Hunts: Make a game of finding numbers and counting items around the house or classroom. It’s like a treasure hunt, but they search for numbers and things to count.

4.  Interactive Counting Songs: Songs with numbers are great for learning. Kids can sing along and count at the same time. It’s fun and helps them remember numbers better.

Related Reading: Best Number Activities for Preschoolers

2. Addition, Subtraction, and Measurement

Numbers on fingers

Learning how to teach kindergarten math goes beyond numbers and counting. Addition, subtraction, and measurement are key parts of math that help kids start to think about how numbers work together. When kids learn to add and subtract, they understand how to combine and take apart numbers. This is like the first step in learning how to think about math problems

3 Fun Ways to Teach Kids Addition & Subtraction

5. Using Fingers and Toes for Basic Arithmetic: One of the most creative ways to teach math to kindergarten is by using their fingers and toes. It’s a tool they always have with them! Adding by putting fingers up and taking away by putting them down is a simple way to see math happen.

6. Addition and Subtraction with Snacks: Who doesn’t love snacks? Use small crackers or fruit pieces to teach adding and taking away. If you eat two and there are three left, how many did you have at first? This tasty method makes learning delicious.

7. Story Problems for Real-World Math: Telling stories about numbers helps kids see how math works in real life. For example, “If you have three apples and get two more, how many apples do you have now?” This makes the math part of a story they can picture.

Related Reading: Best Hands-On Measurement Activities for Kids

3. Sorting and Classifying

Sort and numbers written on colorful background

Sorting and classifying are important steps in how to teach math to kindergarten kids. These skills help young learners understand sets and patterns and basic math concepts for kindergarten. By grouping objects based on different features, children learn to notice similarities and differences, and this is a key part of learning to think mathematically. It prepares them for more complex math tasks and is fundamental to kindergarten math lessons.

3 Fun Ways to Teach Kids Sorting Concepts

8. Color and Shape Sorting Games: Use colorful objects and shapes to create a game where kids can sort items into different groups. This can be done with blocks, buttons, or even drawings. It’s a visual and hands-on way to learn about categories and sets.

9. Sorting Household Items by Size or Use: Gather various household items and ask the children to sort them. They can group them by size, like big and small, or by use, like things to eat with and things to write with. This not only teaches sorting but also helps with vocabulary and understanding the function of objects.

10. Classifying and Sorting Nature Finds: Take the learning outside and collect leaves, rocks, or sticks. Then, have the kids sort their finds. This teaches them about natural objects and gives them a sense of how to classify things based on different characteristics like texture, size, or color.

4. Recognizing Shapes

Recognizing shapes written on colorful background

Recognizing shapes is a fundamental part of how to teach math to kindergarten students. It’s not just about knowing the names of shapes; it’s about understanding how shapes form the basis of everything we see. This skill is crucial for developing spatial awareness, which helps children figure out how objects fit together and how they can be broken down into simpler parts. It’s a core mathematics component for kindergarten students, helping them make sense of the world through a mathematical lens.

3 Fun Ways to Recognize Shapes

11. Interactive Shape-Matching Games: Use digital tools or physical cards for shape-matching games. These can be simple puzzles where children match a shape to its outline or more advanced digital games that require them to identify and sort shapes. These fun ways to teach kindergarten math capitalize on children’s love for play while educating them. You can begin here:

12. Creating Shapes with Playdough: Give children a hands-on experience by letting them create shapes out of playdough. This tactile activity allows them to build and explore shapes tangibly and engagingly, reinforcing their understanding of geometry.

13. Shape Hunts in the Classroom or at Home: Turn the learning environment into a discovery zone with a shape hunt. Ask the kids to find items that match specific shapes around the room or house. This active search makes learning dynamic and embeds the concept of shapes in everyday life.

Related Reading: What Do Kids Learn in Kindergarten: Overview, Subjects & Skills

4 Effective Tools for Teaching Kindergarten Maths

Having the right tools can make teaching math to kindergarteners an enjoyable and effective experience. These tools can introduce new concepts, reinforce old ones, and help children practice new skills. Here are some essential tools for teaching kindergarten math:

1. Worksheets and Workbooks to Practice Math Concepts

Practice is key to math proficiency. Worksheets and workbooks designed for kindergarteners provide structured practice to help children solidify their understanding of math concepts. They offer a range of problems to solve, which helps kids apply what they’ve learned differently. Use these fun math worksheets to help your kids reinforce math concepts in a structured way:

2. Books That Feature Numbers and Other Math Concepts

Books That Feature Numbers

Storybooks that include numbers and math concepts are wonderful tools for teaching math to kindergarteners. These books can introduce concepts like counting, comparing numbers, and basic operations in an engaging and relatable context for young children. They can follow along with characters who use math in their adventures, making math fun and relevant.

Related Reading: Best Kindergarten Books

3. Games to Help Reinforce Concepts

Games are a fantastic way to reinforce math concepts because they add an element of fun to learning. Whether it’s a board game, a card game, or an interactive online game, games can provide a dynamic environment for children to apply and practice their math skills. This playful approach to learning helps ensure that children are engaged and excited about math.

If you are looking for fun and interactive ways to enhance your child’s math skills, here are some games they can play:

4. Manipulatives to Teach Your Child Math

Little girl learning math

Manipulatives are physical objects that children can use to learn math concepts. Items like blocks, counters, and beads allow children to touch and move objects as they count, sort, add, and subtract. This hands-on approach to teaching kindergarten math is particularly effective because it brings abstract ideas into the real world, making them easier for young learners to understand.

Related Reading: Best Math Websites to Take the Math Blues Away


And there you have it, a list of fun and simple ways to make math a happy part of your kindergartener’s day. Remember, every number counted and every shape recognized is a step towards a world of learning. So, let’s make those math moments count!

Related Reading: Best Kindergarten Classroom Setup Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What age should kids start learning math?

Kids can start learning basic math concepts like counting and number recognition as early as preschool, around 3 to 4 years old. Kindergarten builds on that foundation with more structured math lessons.

How can I make math fun for kindergarteners?

Make math fun by incorporating games, songs, and hands-on activities like playdough shapes or counting with snacks. The key is to relate math to their interests and daily life.

How long should a kindergarten math lesson be?

Kindergarten math lessons should be short, typically lasting about 15 to 20 minutes to match young children’s attention spans and keep them engaged.

Jill Baker
Jill Baker has been teaching for 10 years and she loves sharing everything she has learned to help other teachers.