Winter Math Games for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Dec. 24, 2018
The cold winter months can be a drag for many families, as folks wait out the winter for warmer days ahead. The weather outside might still be frightful, but there’s no reason your child needs to spend the long winter months bored inside the house glued to a TV screen. Instead, why not play some fun winter-themed educational games? If you’re looking for winter math activities for preschoolers or kindergarteners, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading below to find fresh new ideas to practice math while celebrating the winter season!
Snowflake Math Game
This versatile game can be adapted to accommodate nearly any theme, and uses supplies easily found around the house. Take it one step farther and make it a Frozen-themed party game, or just practice math on a long, snowy day. Your little learner will have a blast walking, balancing ,and collecting snowflakes all while reviewing math!
- Painter’s tape
- A marker
- Craft pom poms
- Snowflakes—either make your own or use printables!
Setup and Gameplay:
1. Prepare for the game by numbering the snowflakes using your marker. Make one snowflake the “special” last snowflake. Decorate it with gems, buttons, or in any way your child wishes!
2. Set up the game by using the painter’s tape. Create a large snowflake on the floor in your home using the tape. Make the snow flake using long strips of tape, and make it so it’s about as large as you might draw a hopscotch board on the ground.
3. Place the pom poms randomly along the painter’s tape snowflake on the floor. In the game, these act as snowball bombs, and if your child steps on one, they lose all the snowflakes they have collected and start over.
4. Set down the numbered snowflakes along the large snowflake on the floor to begin. Place the special final snowflake in the middle. Once your child collects this snowflake, he or she wins!
5. Begin playing by positioning your child standing at the bottom of the snowflake and roll the dice. For each number your child rolls, he or she will walk along the snowflake to find and pick up the matching number.
6. Be careful! Don’t step on a snowball! Start over for each time your child steps on a snowball.
7. Collect each snowflake until it’s time to gather the special snowflake to win the game!
Snowball Doubles Addition
If it’s just too cold to get outside, or just the opposite- there’s no snow to play with, this snowy winter-themed match activity will keep your child indoors and having fun all while practicing math!
- Blue or white construction paper or felt
- Cotton balls or white pom poms
- 2 sets of snowmen, made out of paper or foam board, each numbered between 0-10
- Large snowmen, made out of paper or foam board, each numbered between 0-20
How to Play:
1. Lay out the felt or construction paper flat on the table or floor.
2. Select two small snowmen, both with matching numbers and place them opposite of each other on the felt or paper.
3. Next, instruct your child to count out the cotton balls for each snowman. For example, if the snowmen are both the number 4, count out 4 cotton balls for each snowman. Place the corresponding cotton balls above the snowmen’s heads.
4. Afterwards, have your child count the total number of cotton balls on the felt and explain the doubles fact. For example, when 4 is doubled, the total is 8. Have your child find the big snowman that displays the answer and represents the total number of cotton balls.
5. As your child advances, and for older children, play around with the cotton balls, adding or subtracting one to practice doubles plus one and doubles minus one.
6. Keep playing, and play often! The goal is to help your child memorize doubles facts!
Snowball Math… OUTSIDE!
Maybe the snow has just fallen, and it’s the perfect time to get outside to play! Bundle your child up and get outside to play this exciting winter math game! In between sledding and snowball fights, use this educational math activity to keep your child busy learning even on your child’s next snow day away from school!
- Packable snow
- A stick
How to Play:
1. Once outdoors, help your child make a bunch of snowballs. But wait… don’t throw them yet!
2. Using the stick, your child will draw out the numbers 1-10 in the snow.
3. One by one, throw the snowballs at the numbers in pairs. Add or subtract the numbers together. See how fast your child could complete each problem, and make new snowballs to keep the game going!
Make a Winter Counting Necklace
Your child will love this adorable activity that also doubles as a winter math craft! By challenging your child to count and make patterns with beads, your child will not only be creating a necklace to be proud of, but will unwittingly practice math while honing fine motor skills!
- Craft or scrapbooking paper
- Snowflake or snowman stickers
- Large card or craft hole punch, any shape
- Small (standard) hole punch
- Beads of any color combination your child desires!
- Necklace clasps (optional)
How to Create and Play:
1. First, cut the string to an appropriate size for a necklace.
2. Using the hole punch and the scrapbooking paper, punch out shapes that will be used as the centerpiece of each necklace. When finished, place one sticker on each shape.
3. Using the standard hole puncher, punch a small hole near the top of each shape where the string of the necklace can be threaded through. Thread the string through the holes to get started placing beads.
4. Here’s where the fun begins! Adapt this activity into various ways for each necklace. Challenge your child to make a specific pattern using the colored beads. Practice composing and decomposing by using two colors of beads and finding different combinations that equal a preset number. For example, 4 blue beads plus 2 white beads equal a predetermined number of 8 beads. Ask your child to put any amount of beads on without counting, and ask how many more beads they need or how many less they would need to equal 10. Get creative and practice a variety of math skills!
5. When finished, tie the ends or use necklace clasps to secure the necklaces for wearing. Watch as your child’s hard work transforms into a product he or she can be proud of!
Hot Chocolate Counting
This winter math game is one to warm your child’s heart while providing a heap of math fun! Follow the activity with real hot cocoa for a snowy winter’s treat!
- 20 cocoa mug printables, mats, or create the mugs using construction paper!
- Mini marshmallows
How to Play:
1. Make sure each mug in numbered between 1-20.
2. Simply set down each mug on a table or on the floor, and present one at a time for your preschooler. He or she will look at the number on the mug and count out marshmallows to place on the printable.
3. For older kids, use the mugs for addition or subtraction! Lay out two mugs and and ask your child to add or subtract the numbers, and lay out the marshmallows to represent the answer for each. Based on your child’s age and ability, create new games and problems to practice and enjoy. Afterwards, enjoy a real mug of hot cocoa to reward your child for a job well done!
Snowman Building Race
If you live in a climate where snowmen are impossible to build outside, just build them inside the house! This adorable game will have your child facing off against a sibling or parent to see who could count the quickest to win!
- Large cotton balls
How to Play:
1. Before starting, for each player, make a snowman head by using the marker to draw a face on one of the large cotton balls. Set out the rest of the cotton balls on the table or in a bowl nearby so that they are available to each player.
2. Begin play by taking turns rolling the dice. Each player will look at the number rolled, and construct a snowman by quickly counting out that number of cotton balls to add to the snowman. As fast as possible, each player builds their snowmen based upon the number they counted. The first player done in each round wins!
3. For an extra challenge and for older children, roll more than one die. Task the players with adding, subtracting, or multiplying the two numbers rolled together and counting out the correct answer using the cotton balls to add to their snowman! Once again, the first player done in each round wins!
The winter months after Christmas can be tough for children and parents alike! The long dreary days can take a toll on motivation and learning, especially after the excitement of the holidays have long worn off. Keep your child’s motivation high while expanding his or her math skills by playing the games and activities mentioned above!
Winter math activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners are easy to make and play whether you’re inside or outside the house. Get started today, and don’t forget to check out all our quality educational worksheets and resources online at kidsacademy.mobi, and our apps available on the Appstore and Google Play!