Smart Math Center Activities for Teaching Kindergarteners Common Core Math
If you have a kindergartner like mine, when you ask what was something fun they did in school, their answer is usually something like “recess.” However, on occasion I would get another response, which was “centers.” After the first month I was intrigued with what she was actually doing in these “centers.” She seemed quite entertained and stated she enjoyed moving from each table and doing four different activities a day. I was volunteering in her class, but was helping out with reading pass-offs, so I had yet to have the chance to assist with center activities in class to find out what they were. Finally my volunteering opportunity came when I had the chance to help the students rotate in these “center” activities and was impressed with how active and responsive the kids were with this venture.
I wanted to take this awesome educational idea and transform it to mini centers at home with my daughter and focus on some Common Core Math concepts.
So here is my version of some fun, interactive math games for kindergartners that you can use to create your own centers at home. This concept will reinforce the Common Core Math knowledge that your child is readily acquiring at school as well as bolster logical thinking skills and mirror school exercises.
Kindergarten Common Core Math Games
First, it is helpful, but by no means needed, if you have an iPad, tablet or a similar device. This can be used as one of the props for a station. Many times, we encourage more interactive types of learning methods, but there are some great apps available to help students learn Common Core Math concepts. This is one of those great opportunities to use your electronic devices.
Station 1: Fun Math Apps
If you have an electronic device, use your first station for math games on your Android or Apple device. There are thousands of math games that are available on such devices, but here are some of my (and my children’s’) personal favorites.
Many of the following games listed have both Android and Apple versions:
- Math is Fun has many age group games. For kindergarteners, the 4 to 5-year-old and 5 to 6-year-old games are perfect and inexpensive. There is a free version available or another version for only $0.99.
- Butterfly Math is unique in that it allows the children to make mistakes and then fix them. Many apps do not allow errors. This app also has a free version, but there is also one available for $2.99.
- Motion Math: Hungry Fish is an interactive game where the fish grow as he eats the number. There is a version available for $1.99 on the Apple store.
- Halloween Math: Because Halloween is right around the corner; I threw in this seasonal app for $1.99.
Station 2: Common Core Math Worksheets
The next station is the worksheet area. I usually print out several math pages in advance so we can do this activity more than once. There are many resources out there, but I love these worksheets you can download that also include number writing practice sheets. To print a few worksheets, click here.
Station 3: Number Coloring Sheets
At this station, have several sharp pencils and a large eraser ready. I like to use the erasers that are not attached to the pencil Kids tend rip the paper when they erase with the pencil eraser, so I always keep the large erasers around.
Here are some awesome number sheets for a fun little activity where the kids can also use play dough to form each number and lay it on the sheet. The setup is not hard and I even printed the number coloring sheets so I could laminate them at the UPS store. The pages have other cute objects like a sun and flowers so the kids can also use the play dough to make those shapes as well. The great thing about laminating these sheets is you can use them over and over and wash them off easily. You can also use dry erase markers on them as well. This is another useful way to practice writing and Common Core Math.
Station 4: Object Counting
For the last station, I usually put together an object counting activity. You can use so many different items for this fun activity. In the past, I have used buttons, foam cut-outs like in our previous math in the bath game, dry noodles, small candies, and I even used stickers and then let them create an art page with the stickers after our centers were completed.
You can place each station around a table or at a kitchen counter. An alternate way to setup your child’s centers is to have each one in a different room of the house. It changes routines up and gets the kids moving.
This center activity is great for homeschooling as well as for inviting neighbors who want to get a jumpstart on their Common Core Math skills and your child’s friends to participate. It takes a little time and energy to make this activity happen, but it is well worth the labor. Children will ask to do this activity over and over again.
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