From a very early age, children are naturally interested in exploring size, shapes, and quantities. Preschoolers begin to count, sort materials by different characteristics, and recognize shapes. These early math abilities prepare them for understanding more advanced mathematical concepts when they enter elementary school.

Early childhood professionals can support children's early mathematical development by providing materials and experiences that invite children to naturally sort, match, compare, count, and describe quantity, and by supporting these experiences with rich "math talk."

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Teacher with preschooler, filling dump truck with blocks sorted by color

Incorporating Math Into Gross Motor Play

Preschool teacher Jessica Abildgaard incorporated a sorting activity in an obstacle course using toy trucks to suit her student’s developmental needs. In order to prepare her students for kindergarten, she wanted to strengthen their numeral identification and sorting skills while incorporating gross motor play. When combining physical movement with toys, she expresses how an activity similar to this can increase student’s mathematical enhancement in fun and creative ways.