That’s a good question!
My answer when I get this question could be, “We try to practice our numbers”, but that doesn’t fly with preschoolers in my experience. I have to think fast then, if I haven’t given a good explanation.
Modeling a number of cupcakes in playdough and matching them with the right numeral was the activity I had in mind today. Nice, tactile and concrete; a little fine motor practice, some counting, some matching, some fun. Well, the fun part was not evident to the five-year-old who asked, “Why are we doing this?”
“We have gotten lots of orders on cupcakes and we have to get them ready, but we must remember to put the order slip with the number by it to make sure we give it to the right customer!”
Satisfied with this explanation, she set to work.
A big favorite with the kids is self-exploration in numbers; ages, height, stride, and all can be measured and compared to great delight!
Last week we talked about our ages, how old we are in years and how we compare our age. I wrote the number years on a piece of paper for every child and myself and we lined up from least to greatest.
This week, I had prepared a strip of paper for everyone to lie down on and be measured against. I marked the height and cut off the strip to hang up in no partiocular order. Everyone set to work ordering the strips according to length. We talked about who is shorter and taller and of course got to talk about who is tall for their age and how much they have each grown.
A roll of painting paper, alternatively lengths of yarn or string.
Masking tape for hanging and ordering individual strips
Preparation: Cut strips of paper for the kids to stand by for measurements.
Skills practiced: Comparison, measurement, ordering.