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May 13, 2011 Merry Math Ideas for May By Allie Magnuson
Grades PreK–K

    Make math irresistible with three of my specialty themes popular with young children: a Counting Party, Frogs & Dogs, and The Price Is Right, Kindergarten Edition. Read on to find activity packages that make counting, number recognition, and money skills fun and exciting.




    Counting Party

    How Many Licks?

    Kindergarten Math - Counting Tootsie Pop Licks

    Students count how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop by circling tally marks for every five licks.

    Birthday Cake

    Kindergarten Math - Counting Birthday Cake

    I got this box cake at the party store. Students count the number of slices, sprinkles, and candles, as well as the balloons and soda bottle caps that are inside the slices.


    Kindergarten Math - Counting Pop-O-Matic Trouble

    Pop-O-Matic Trouble serves as the party game. Students pop the dome to roll the dice and move their pieces that many spaces.


    Kindergarten Math - Counting Presents
    Students attach tags to gift bags and boxes, and mark them with the number of pictures they count on the wrapping and the number of objects they count inside. To make greeting cards, they count out scratch & sniff stickers.

    Do Me a Favor

    Kindergarten Math - Counting Party Favors

    Buy a large pack of party blowers (they should be used only once, and only one per child) and mark the insides with dots. When students blow the favors, their partners count the dots.

    Let’s Celebrate

    Kindergarten Math - Counting Decorations Kindergarten Math - Counting Decorations 02 

    Students count pieces of confetti, and count pom-poms and pictures on party hats.


    Frogs & Dogs

    Catching Flies

    Kindergarten Math - Catching Flies

    Students throw a bean bag frog on a numbered mat and count out that many plastic flies.

    Lilly Pad Hop

    Kindergarten Math - Lilly Pad Hop

    One student holds up a numbered card, and their partner hops to the matching lilly pad. Optionally, you can use a frog instead of having partners.


    Kindergarten Math - Chew-By-Number

    By following a key, students spread chewed, colored gum on the right numbers to decorate a picture.

    Match Spot

    Kindergarten Math - Match Spot
    Students match a dog’s spots with its numeral.

    Feed the Puppies

    Kindergarten Math - Feed the Puppies

    Students roll a die, take out that many bone treats from a doggy bag, and place the bones in a dish.

    Number Puzzles

    Kindergarten Math - Number Puzzles

    Cut a picture into squares or strips, number them on the back or bottom, and have students put them in order.


    The Price Is Right

    One Bid

    Kindergarten Math - Contestant's Row

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR One Bid 01Kindergarten Math - TPIR One Bid 02     

    At the start of the game, four students are called to "come on down" and stand in Contestant's Row. Each student tries to guess the price of a prize (a round number between $1 and $10). No two students can guess the same number. The child who guesses the closest to the actual price, without going over, gets to play a pricing game. If all four students overbid, they try again with a new prize. Play continues until all students get a chance to play a pricing game.

    The font for the numbers is Sports Type. I attached Velcro on the back of each card and put a set of cards in each podium. If your sixes and nines look alike, I recommend marking them; as you can see in the picture, one of my students got hers mixed up.


    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Plinko
    The player lets a disc drop through the board to land in one of the bottom slots, where an item is sitting. He or she is then shown two numbers, one that is in the price and one that isn't. A correct guess earns a prize.

    Easy as 1-2-3

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Easy as 1-2-3
    The player ranks three items from least expensive to most expensive by placing them in front of blocks marked 1, 2, and 3. The correct numbers are marked underneath the items.

    Clock Game

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Clock Game
    A timer is set for 30 seconds. The player tries to guess the price of an item (a round number between $1 and $10), with the host answering "higher" or "lower" for each guess. If a price is guessed correctly before the time runs out, the player wins.

    Grocery Game

      Kindergarten Math - TPIR Grocery Game

    The player tries to purchase five items that equal $5.00 without going over. As each item is purchased, the host looks at the price on the bottom and adds it up on the cash register.

    Cliff Hangers

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Cliff Hangers

    The player must complete addition problems. If an answer is incorrect, the host moves the mountain climber up one step. If the mountain climber takes more than ten steps, it falls off and the game is over.

    Dice Game

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Dice Game

    The player rolls two large foam dice, one with numbers and one with dots. If the numbers rolled match, the player rolls again. If they do not match, the player must say how many more or fewer dots are needed. Play continues up to five rounds.

    Showcase Showdown and Showcase

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Showcase Showdown 01
    After every three pricing games, the players from those games try to spin the Big Wheel for a chance to go on to the final round. Here it’s a small version made out of a hamster wheel, but it’s still fun.  Each player spins twice, and the student who spins the closest to a dollar without going over is the winner.

    Kindergarten Math - TPIR Showcases
    At the end of the game, the two students who spun the highest amounts in the Showcase Showdown get to compete for a final prize by guessing the price of their showcases (a round number between $10 and $20). The student who guesses the closest wins.


    My students have a blast with math when they get to do these activities. How do you make math fun?

    Have a merry weekend!


    Kindergarten Math

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