Preschool children are fascinated by the ocean, the beach and marine life. Get preschoolers interested in math concepts by providing memorable activities with a beach or ocean theme. Math activities for preschoolers should focus on age-appropriate cognitive concepts such as counting, sorting and sequencing. Math lessons should also teach preschoolers how to create basic graphs. Activities can be done at the beach or ocean or in the preschool classroom.
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Take the preschoolers to the beach to collect seashells. Return to the classroom. Wash and dry the seashells. Set out baskets on an activity table and tape a number from 1 to 10 on the front of each basket. Set out the seashells and the baskets. Instruct preschoolers to fill the baskets with the number of shells that is posted on the front of each basket. When preschoolers have finished filling the baskets, count the number of shells in each basket aloud with the children.
Ocean Animal Sequencing
Provide an opportunity for preschoolers to practice sequencing. Use a computer with Internet access to a website such as First-School or DLTK Crafts for Kids to obtain free templates of ocean animals. Print out the templates and use them to trace ocean animals such as seahorses, jellyfish, sharks and starfish in a variety of sizes on construction paper or card stock. Cut them out and lay them in random order on an activity surface. Encourage the children to place the ocean animals in order of size from smallest to largest or largest to smallest. Alternatively, create the ocean animals using felt material and ask children to arrange the ocean animals on a felt board.
Beach Graphing Activity
A graphing activity teaches preschool children to collect and organise information. Discuss beach activities such as building sand castles, swimming or playing frisbee. Make a list of various beach activities. Ask each preschooler to choose his favourite beach activity from the list. Record the information on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Create a chart that lists the activities or contains a picture of the activity along with the number of children who chose the activity as their favourite. Use the opportunity to discuss the concept of more and less.
Sorting Ocean Animals
Teach children classification skills by encouraging them to sort plastic ocean animals. Provide several plastic fish in a variety of colours and sizes and baskets or containers to hold the fish. Lay all the fish out on the activity table. Ask the preschoolers to sort the plastic fish into the baskets by colour. Repeat the activity asking the children to sort the ocean animals into groups of small, medium and large.
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