Preschool Math by Robert A Williams and Joy Lubawy  is an excellent book with lots of easy and inexpensive math activities for preschoolers.  One lesson within this book is an exercise on simple graphs.  Kids Activities Blog loves this activity for preschoolers and hope you will come back to share with us what your child’s favorite object to sort and graph was.

Preschool Math: Simple graphs with Nuts

Preschool Math

What I love most about this exercise is its versatility. You can take pretty much any object, sort and count it in various ways and then graph the results. For example, you could sort nuts by type, crayons by color, or you could sort blocks/trains/legos by color, size or shape. Better yet, you could sort textures into soft, smooth and rough, or dinosaur figurines into carnivores and herbivores.

Preschool Math: Simple Graphs Make Learning Math Fun!

Simple Graphs

We used nuts on our first graphing exercise. I wrote the name of the nut on the paper but also placed an actual nut at the top of the column as we went through the exercise. We used a “tally system” so every fifth nut we counted we made a slash through four vertical lines. Therefore, we had some great practice counting in fives. My 3.5 year old was interested in the sorting and the counting. He even like the tally approach. I definitely started to lose him as I began creating a bar graph. I think if I create an easy visual in our computer, that’ll grab him next time.

Preschool Math: Simple Graphs with Buttons

Learning to Graph

So why is graphing (and estimation) so great for preschoolers? What is the value? Children will develop a connection to objects and materials (and therefore math concepts) beyond simple counting. Their minds will visually experience “less than”, “more than”, etc.   Giving the children an activity beyond counting engages them and ignites their learning. Simple counting can be, well, boring. If you grab them with a hook like “I wonder if we have more spoons than forks?” it’ll grab them for life. I truly believe that much.

Preschool Math: Simple Graphs with Corks

Here are a few of my favorite items to use in preschool graphing:
  1. Corks
  2. Utensils
  3. Blocks
  4. Pinecones
  5. Stones
  6. Buttons
  7. Beads
  8. Beans
  9. Nuts
  10. Crayons
  11. Blocks
  12. Fabrics
  13. Nuts
  14. Pasta
  15. Straws
  16. Matchbox cars
  17. Trains
  18. Legos
  19. Books
  20. Mini replicas/figurines of Sea Creatures or Dinosaurs
Get creative and have fun! Learning math can be (and should be) full of joy! A   nice extension to this activity is to begin with the objects in jars or piles. Ask the children to estimate the amount, then count them up! Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post! Marnie

More Kids Activities

This activity makes preschool math a fun, hands-on experience for kids that they will ask for again and again.  They will even have fun choosing different objects to use each time they make simple graphs.  For more great mathematical kids activities, take a look at these ideas:

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  2. I love this idea! As a parent I find that I don’t come up with math activities as much as art or music projects. This graphing project is a perfect example of something fun and easy t that doesn’t take much planning but can produce great results. Thanks for the post!