Math & Reading Activities for Preschoolers During the Summer

By Elizabeth Wistrom

Summer is a great time to build on math and reading skills previously learned. While introducing new concepts or improving existing skills is certainly a benefit, the main goal of incorporating summer learning activities should be demonstrating that learning is fun! Here are some terrific ideas:

Math

An easy way to reinforce early math learning is through the use of preschool math games. There are a variety of commercially produced games available on the market today. Using games to demonstrate mathematical concepts works well because it provides the child with a concrete visual of just how the skill is utilized in their every-day life skills like counting, adding, subtracting, creating a fair share (dividing), telling time and pattern making.

Are you looking for an opportunity to practice some very basic addition and subtraction with your pre-k child? Story problems are a  great solution. By using materials you have around the house, your child can act out simple problems. For instance, at snack time you can give your child a cup containing Goldfish crackers. On their own or with your help, he or she can practice their counting skills by counting to find the exact number of crackers in the cup. (Remember to keep the numbers to the developmental level of your particular child.) For the purpose of this example, we will assume your child has 10 Goldfish crackers in the cup. You can pose the following questions:

"You told me you have 10 Goldfish crackers in your cup. If you eat two of the crackers, how many will you have left?"

Or,

"You told me you have 10 Goldfish crackers in your cup. If I give you two more, then how many crackers will you have in your cup?"

Your child can use the actual crackers to act out each of the scenarios and find solutions to the problems. If you want to take the learning a step further, you can then show your child what the corresponding number problem would look like for each. (10-2=8 and 10+2=12)

Another fun way to practice early math skills is through the many math games which can be found online. Sites like JumpStart, FunBrain and ABCya offer interactive games for different ability levels. As an added bonus, many of the games also offer a graduated level of play so that your child can continue to build on the skills they have developed.