When my children were little, I used tell them that having fun in kindergarten was the best thing. This reminded my of something my great-grandmother said: Fun in kindergarten means doing what you like, not what your parents tell you to. Kids are naturally curious and inquisitive. They thrive on activities that challenge and stretch their minds and bodies. My kids laughed at me when I said that kindergarten was not about sitting in a chair, counting numbers, and getting good grades. It worked! They weren’t being forced or forced to do anything they didn’t want.
Kindergarten math is enjoyable because it requires students use their brains instead of their brawn. Students need to count things, but they also need to manipulate objects and combinations of objects to make patterns, solve problems, and come up with new ideas. Math is not something children learn sitting still. They need to be active and explore math. Kindergarten math is very similar. Every school year starts with new fall sensory bins for the children to use in the first two months. The new sensory bins feature colors, shapes and patterns that stimulate the five senses and the brain. They are meant to help children understand how the world works.
I took my three kids to the Multicultural Kindergarten Program. They sat together in a circle and practiced basic fall sensory activities. We practiced jumping and moving around on the log, sorting alphabetically, building simple structures, and using blocks to build them. In addition to using our sensory tools, we practiced basic problem solving skills working with worksheets from nofusstutors.com/worksheets-for-kindergarten. After two weeks of practice, I noticed my children had many new vocabulary words. I also noticed that my children were developing new concepts. They had learned the word apple, right and wrong, left and up, and many other words.
I took them to the fine motor activity center set up at the school called the count aloud activation center or simply counted. This center has large posters with numbers 1 to 20 on them. It is a great place for practicing basic addition, subtraction and multiplication. My kids became proficient at basic addition, subtract, and division by practicing at home. They practiced their sums by adding the numbers to the corresponding sides of the counting board and repeated the process in reverse, counting backwards. They were also able to match the correct numbers to the respective sides of the board by recalling which side contained the number they had just seen on the poster.
The three of our group returned to the kindergarten classroom and our new friends were teaching us about space, color sound, texture, sound, as well as sound. I sat with my other sons during the visit and we played a game called Space Race. In which we had to hide a sensory bin in another location in the classroom. We wrapped a piece from cellophane around an iron magnet and attached the conductive metal probe. The child would then be able to locate the sensory bin by touching it with their fingers.
We made a game of this activity called “Dropit Like It’s Heat”. This involved folding a piece of paper into ten frames. We would signal to the child that he should hide the paper in one box, and then we would slide a piece of metal across each frame. We would then slide the metal piece across each frame until the child found the hidden paper. Then, he would press it into the hole. After ten frames, we placed the frame back where it belonged, and the child was alerted to his discovery. These and many other fun in kindergarten developmentally appropriate activities are part of the mix.