3 Fun Math Preschool Activities

3 Fun Math Preschool Activities

The Preschool Box is full of fun hands on activities for preschoolers.  The main focus of the box is to teach fundamental reading and math skills that will better prepare preschoolers for kindergarten.  The preschool activities included are meant to be done with as much or as little parent assistance as needed.  The skills introduced in each box build on previous skills taught in earlier boxes.  I wanted to share some of the fun, hands on activities that are included in some of the boxes.  The great thing about these activities are that you can reuse the materials to teach and practice other skills as well.

 

Sorting

Included in the first box is a sorting mat with a bag full of different fun, colorful materials for kids to sort.  For the first part of the activity they are supposed to sort the red items on one half of the sorting mat and the blue items on the other half.  Next, they are supposed to sort the yellow and green objects.  On the back side of the sorting mat are four different boxes in which the objects can be sorted into four different sections- one for yellow, blue, green, and red. The bags include a few other colored objects which can be sorted on the mat as well.  This activity not only teaches colors, but also how to sort. The objects can be sorted by size, texture, and shape.  My kids really enjoyed just playing with the different objects, because who doesn’t love feathers, and glitter balls?! The mats come laminated so they will last for many uses.  You can have your child find different colored objects around the house to sort on the mat or even use colorful cereal like fruit loops.

 

Counting Cups

One of the fun ways that we teach number recognition and counting to 5 is in the first box with our counting cups.  For this activity you will find 5 plastic cups labeled 1-5 and a bag of small pom pom balls.  For this activity you will have your child count the correct number of pom pom balls into the correctly labeled cup.  For cup 1, we put 1 ball.  In cup 2, we put 2 balls.  My kids really liked this activity because for some reason putting small balls into cups is very entertaining.  I did have to remind my 2 and 3 year olds to count as they put the balls in.  This activity can be used for color practice and sorting as well.  You can create this activity on your own by simply getting a piece of paper, drawing 5 circles and labeling each one with a number 1-5.  Pick some small objects you have around the house such as beads, cheerios, or anything else small that will fit into the circles.

 

Pattern Necklaces

Most kids love crafts and pattern necklaces are definitely a win in our house.  Crafts beads are easy to come by.  You can find pony beads or other plastic beads at your local craft store.  This particular activity is introduced in one of the later boxes after the different types of patterns have all been introduced.  The first patterns we introduce are AB patterns.  An example of an AB pattern would be blue, red, blue, red.  An example of an ABB pattern would be green, red, red, green, red, red.  An example of an ABC pattern would be red, blue, yellow, red, blue, yellow.  Before creating a necklace, I would recommend reviewing the different types of patterns.  I let my kiddos pick the different kinds of patterns they wanted to make on their necklace.  They did some of the basic patterns but also created some patterns on their own, it was fun to watch their creativity unfold.  You can also have your child practice counting the beads and work on color recognition.

For other preschool activities check out our blog on Five Summer Preschool Activities.

The “F” word Dilemma

So it happened.  I couldn’t believe it when it did.  My four year old said the “f” word.  In fact, he called me the “f” word.  That’s right… fat.  He told me my belly was fat.  And I cried.

Now, he is a very sweet boy and I know he didn’t do it with mean intentions.  In fact, he was smiling when he did it almost like he was teasing me and trying to be funny.  When he saw the reaction on my face, I knew he immediately felt bad although I don’t think he completely understood why.

My first reaction was “why would you say that?”  He of course didn’t know.   My next thought was “Where would he have even heard that being said to someone?” And that’s when I realized it.  He had heard it from ME.  Me, talking about Myself and the imperfections that I have been struggling with.  I try not to say it in front of my kids, but I know I have slipped up.

Let’s be honest here… After having 3 children within a 4 year time period, things don’t just pop back how they used to be.  At least not for me.  My weight has been up and down and my body has carried 3 human beings in 4 years.  Let’s just say I’m not anywhere near feeling comfortable putting on a bikini anytime in my near future.

But this whole being called fat thing really made me reflect on myself… not about my not so flat belly, but the words that I am speaking over myself and also the same words that I have allowed my children to hear me say about myself.

I never want my children to question their self worth based on their appearance, or to judge somebody else based on theirs.  I know we can be our own biggest critics, but we need to stop being so hard on ourselves.  I realize that I need to make a change in my own self- ridicule.  So here goes…  I am making it a goal to not say anything negative about my appearance in 2018- especially in front of my children.  If this is something you struggle with, I encourage you to do the same thing.  I want my kids to grow up being confident individuals, knowing that they are loved, and valuable regardless of their appearance.  I never want them to say the things about themselves that I often catch myself saying about me so I will do my part and lead by example.  Let’s make 2018 the year we focus on true beauty that comes from within ourselves!

Live Grow Play Austin Review

Thanks for the review, Live Grow Play Austin!

Live Grow Play Austin, a family guide to all things kids in and around our hometown Austin, Texas, recently tried out and reviewed our November Preschool Box. And yay, they loved it!
Read their review here.

We’re also listed in their Kids Directory which helps local families find businesses and read reviews to pick the right daycare, school, pediatrician, hospital, dance lessons, soccer league, camp, and much more. If you can spare a minute, we’d love it of you rated and left a review for us on our listing.

Thanks again for spreading the word about The Preschool Box, Live Grow Play Austin!

The “Smart” Kid Myth

Here at The Preschool Box, we believe that all children are capable of reaching their full potential when given the proper tools and opportunities. Every child has their own unique strengths and interests but becoming a successful student early on in school can set each child up for a lifelong love of learning and confidence in their own intelligence.

As shown in multiple psychology studies by the American Psychological Association our own intelligence is quite malleable dependent on whether we think we are capable of learning, or rather “believing you can get smarter makes you smarter”. This is why it is so important to us to help each child first discover the joy in learning and then grow her confidence with each activity or game in The Preschool Box.

We all want our kid to be the “smart” kid in class, the one that can help others learn to read or answer math problems confidently, and yet human intelligence is actually quite difficult to describe and measure. Nobody is born with a fixed IQ and our brains are muscles that need exercise just like every other muscle. Early exposure to learning in a fun environment can make every kid the “smart” kid when they get to school and being smart will help them dream large and reach for the stars.

Our goal at The Preschool Box is to help you set your child up for success, so that they will have the knowledge and confidence to believe they can do whatever they dream of achieving.

 

The Preschool Box Press Release

Local Woman Launches The Preschool Box Subscription to Inspire Fun Learning for Preschoolers and their Parents

Austin, TX – A local kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom is taking the guesswork out of preparing preschoolers for school. Austin’s newest start-up, The Preschool Box, is a monthly subscription box that focuses on providing simple activities, games and crafts that will help parents provide a fun, engaging environment for children ages 3 to 6 while preparing them for success at school. The first boxes have already started shipping!

The Preschool Box’s creator, Christina Schnell, had two primary goals in starting the business: share her passion for teaching with others and help preschoolers get excited about learning and reading.

“As a former kindergarten teacher you see so many kids coming into school very unprepared for the rigorous curriculum that kindergarten now entails. You can definitely see the difference between kids whose parents have worked with them before coming to school and those that show up with no prior learning experience,” Christina said. “I think it’s important for kids to have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and see that learning can be fun!”

To meet that goal, monthly boxes contain more than 16 different activities, crafts and games designed to teach your preschooler letters, numbers, colors, shapes and many other concepts they will encounter during that important first year of school. In addition, each box has a book, fun stickers and a parent guide to help parents explain and teach just like a kindergarten teacher would.

Christina adds, “It’s important for parents to invest in their children’s education and The Preschool Box is a great way to not only educate your children but also to spend time with them.”

The Preschool Box can be purchased at www.thepreschoolbox.com. Monthly, quarter-year, half-year, and one-year plans are available, with boxes starting at $25.00.

Kindergarten Readiness

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Back in the day when I was a kid, kindergarten was quite different than it is now.  I remember going to school and coloring the letters of the alphabet, doing fun crafts, and getting to play in centers (the sand and water table being my favorite).  Fast forward 25 years and things have changed drastically.

Now that I have actually worked as a kindergarten teacher, it’s amazing to see how things have changed, and continue to change over the years. Nap time is no longer a thing in most kindergarten classrooms.  Centers and play time is a thing that is occasionally crammed into the end of the day if there’s any time left, or if the teacher is just done trying to teach the poor, exhausted children anything more for that day. 

Kindergarteners are now expected to be reading by the end of the year.  And I’m not talking about reciting a memorized story.  They are expected to actually sound out and blend words to figure out what they say.  They have to be able to read sight words such as “what,” “where,” “do,” and a very large list of others.  They are also expected to be able to write sentences.

The first week of school often seems to leave parents in quite a shock and fluster when they realize that their child may be starting kindergarten “behind.”  I’ve had several students enter my classroom being able to sing the alphabet and their parents think they are fully prepared for kindergarten.  It’s a harsh reality when they come to find out that their child is in fact not fully prepared for the rigorous standards kindergarten now entails. 

As a former educator and now parent, I can’t express enough the importance of working with your child before they ever enter an actual classroom.  Kids that enter kindergarten with prior knowledge and an educational foundation have a much higher probability of being successful in school than those who do not.  I have had several children come into my classroom and really struggle with their first year in school because they have not had their parents or anyone invest the time or energy into their education.  These kids struggle and instead of having a fun, enjoyable first year of school, they are just trying to play catch up the whole year. 

It’s so important for kids to enjoy the learning experience, and in order to do that it is absolutely necessary for them to feel successful.  Working with your kids and showing them that they are smart and are able to learn, is vital in creating a foundation for them to not only build their education on, but also their self-worth. 

The purpose of The Preschool Box is to give parents the tools to be able to easily work with and teach their kids the fundamentals of reading and math.  It’s a great way for them to work with and show their children that they value their education and want to spend quality time with them as well.  Whether you are an active subscriber to The Preschool Box or not, find ways to spend time with your kids doing fun, engaging, educational activities.  It’s super easy to plop our kids in front of a tv and let that do our job of educating, but it’s so much more meaningful and effective when the effort comes from Mom and Dad.  And the kids know it!