Games to Learn Pre-Mathematics Skills

Hello Math-O-Minds! If you are interested to enrich your mathematics experience with wonderful activities or make your classroom environment attractive or motivating, you should try your hand on these puzzles. Make your mathematics classes sizzle with enthusiasm…………………

The following games/puzzles are for useful for teaching mathematics to young children:

Teaching-Games for Pre-Mathematical Skills

1. Learning concepts of big/small, full/empty, tall/short, fat/thin, more/less, whole/part, heavy/light, first/middle/last, low/high (First concrete objects then pictures)

Activities in the classroom

i. Teacher can bring different objects and show them to students to make them understand the concept of heavy/light etc

ii. Teacher can tell students to start game by asking each other the names of objects/animals/places etc. and each has to tell the other name of the bigger or the smaller animal etc. Alternatively, they can ask each other names of objects/animals etc. as big/small pairs. E.g. Cat/Rat; Lion/deer etc

Activities outside the classroom

‘Low & High Game’- All students have to stand on some high place or on a platform kind of thing and one student has to chase them and get one of the students out by touching him/her on a low place.

2. Learning concepts of day/night, morning/evening, now/later, before/after.

Activities in the classroom

Teachers can play games with students in light where the shape and direction of shadows changes.

Activities outside the classroom

Divide all the students into groups of two, ask these students to make circle and stand in pairs. Give the instructions of the game clearly with the demonstration if needed. The games will be started by two students in which one student will chase the other. The student who is running can stand before any one pair of students and the student who is standing after that pair has to start running now. In this way the game will continue.

3. Sorting, matching, pairing, grouping of things (first concrete objects and then pictures)

Activities in the classroom

i. Listing objects with same colour, shape-Give students a target to listing as many objects with same colour, shape which are present in the classroom, outside the classroom, in the kitchen etc.

ii. Teacher can call out the name of an object or show flash cards and children have to tell her the name of the right “partner”. E.g. Chalk/slate, Copy/pencil etc

Activities outside the classroom

i. Divide the students into different groups and then give them different shapes like circle, square etc., tell them to make these shapes by holding hands or standing together rows (human shapes).

ii. Students can be divided into groups and a relay could be organized. The groups can be given a basket full of objects like dal, rajma, pencils, stones etc. from which they have to sort out or find the pair of things and then reach to the end line.

4. Sorting and Matching shapes and colours

Activities in the classroom

i. Tell students about basic colours and the objects associated with them. Then ask them to list the maximum number of things with a particular colour.

ii. Tell the students to stand in a circle with one place less than the total number of students so that always one person will stand in the middle. Then give them instructions like all the students with red bag exchange place with each other and the one who is left without a place in the process will give the instruction next time.

5. “ Give me one” (First concrete objects then pictures)

Activities in the classroom

i. This activity can be played with pairs of students. Give each group a few articles where the number of these articles can be different. Then ask the students to give their partners ‘one pen’ or ‘one pencil’ or ‘one eraser’.

ii. Play this activity with the whole class and ask the students to touch the body part when its name is called. Like give me-‘one nose’; ’one ear’ etc.

6. Copy patterns ****/**** (the same number of objects without counting)

Activities in the classroom

i. Give students some flashcards or different objects like pencils, erasers, scale, flowers, fruits etc. Then ask them to get the same number of cards or objects from a different set of cards.

ii. Make a pattern by different shapes (triangles, circle, square etc) by chalk on blackboard or by objects (pencil, rubber, paper etc) and then ask students to repeat that pattern on their slates or with objects.

iii. Give them some particular shapes or patterns and ask the students if ever come across this kind of design somewhere. Ask them to list all the things that could be associated with these shapes.

Outside the classroom

Divide the class into two groups. Now let one group start the game and tell they can make different pattern or shape standing in different positions. After they finish ask other groups to copy their pattern as fast as possible.

7. Rote Counting (1 to 5 and then 5 to 10)

Activities in the classroom

i. Sing any poem in the class with numbers in it

ii. Give students numbers from 1 to n-tell them that you will start counting and will stop in between. The student should tell you what will be the next number after that. Or where the teacher stops, the students with the number after that has to stand up and tell her the number that was given to him/her.The same exercise can be done with reverse counting.

iii. The game can be played in pairs by students. Ask one student to start counting as fast as he can from 1 to 50 and the second student of the team should draw some shapes like circle/squares on a paper. After the first student stops they can count the number of shapes he has drawn. Later they can repeat the same process with the other person.This game can be played with reverse counting also.

iv. Tell students that a snap means 1, a foot tap means 3 etc. then do the actions in front of them and they have to call out the number you are demonstrating.

8. Match Numerals (1 to 1 etc)

Activities in the classroom

i. Put some numbers on a handkerchief/paper and hide them at different places in the classroom. Give students flashcards of different numbers and ask them to search for their numbered handkerchief/paper.

ii. At the start of the day, give each student a flashcard showing a number of which a pair is given to another student- students have to find their pair and sit with the partner for the entire day.

9. Match Sound to Numeral (Symbol)

Activities in the classroom

i. Put all flashcards of numbers together and when you call out any number the student has to go and pick the flashcard of that particular number.

ii. Take one student outside the class and give him flashcards of numbers. In his absence give all the students a number starting from 1. Ask the student to come back in the class and then ask him to close his/her eyes or make him/her stand facing the blackboard, then ask students to call out their number starting from 1. The student has to identify the name of the student who calls out the number and then give the same student a flash card of his number.

10. Identify the correct numeral when asked

Activities in the classroom

i. (Concentration game) Give each student numbers starting from 1. Tell them to start the game with some actions-claps/swing of hands. And, with each action the first person should call out his number and then in the next action the number of any other person. The next turn is of the person number is being call out by the first person he will do the same thing by calling out his number first and then any other number. Example with the clapping first person is calling out:- one-three; next third person will call out:- three-five and so forth.

ii. Tell the students any story or poem with significant numbers in it. At the end, ask students questions regarding the story as; how many trees were there in the story/what object were there of thirteen as number etc.

11. Count out Objects

Activities in the classroom

Ask the students to count the number of objects present in the class. Start with simple counting to the complex. Example- Ask them to count the number of blackboard; chalk; bags; fans; tube lights; eyes; fingers etc

12. Count out objects and match to correct numeral

Activities in the Classroom

i. Give the students a number and a ask them how many objects in the classroom are present in that particular number.

ii. Race- Fill a box with objects of different numbers like one-rubber; two-pencil; three-stones etc. At the end of the finishing line, mark circles with numbers 1,2,3 etc. Give students these boxes and tell them to count the things and put them in the corresponding number circle.

13. Count out objects in pictures and match to numeral

Activities in the classroom

Give all the students flashcards of numerals. Teacher can show them different objects or picture of different things and then ask them to show the associated numeral card for the things which are shown.

14. Write Numerals

Activities in the classroom

Teacher can make number dictation a little complex. She can quickly read out the number in a flow with pauses between each number so as to allow the students to listen carefully and retain the numbers. Now the students have to write the numbers by memory.

15. Count out objects and write the correct numeral

Activities in the classroom

i. Give this activity in small groups where you give students several assorted objects in different numbers. The teams have to find out the number of each article separately and then make a list of it.

ii. Give students boxes of different sizes and also give them different articles like pencils, chalk, eraser, pen etc. Now ask students to find out the exact number of different articles that can fit in the boxes.

16. Count out the objects and write the correct numeral

Activities in the classroom

Number dictation with higher level of complexity. Show the children flashcards of objects with different numbers then ask them to write the number later on using their memory.

17. Demonstrate the concept of more and less/ big and small with numerals

Activities in the classroom

Introduce the concept of greater or smaller sign ‘>’. Now ask students to put the symbol in between one digit numbers.

18. Begin comparisons (less, more, most-big, bigger, biggest)

Activities in the classroom

i. By giving examples, teacher can teach concepts of less or more. Now start playing the ‘Rapid Fire’ game. One student has to start with the name of objects, animals, fruits, flowers etc then the next student has to name something that is bigger or smaller. The real challenge of the game is to see that you have to keep going by naming the thing which is slightly more or less in the size.

ii. Give students word problems based on the concept of big, bigger, and biggest to solve.

iii. Give students a pile of pictures of different objects and ask them in arrange them in ascending order of size.

19. Identify numerals on the Number line-what comes after, before, in between

Activities in the classroom

i. Draw a number line on blackboard from one to twenty or from thirty to fifty, leaving few numbers in between then ask the students to complete the line.

ii. Tell them stories or anecdotes in which birth or death of the character are important

Deepshikha

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