Kindergarten Math Centers: Ideas, Activities & Games

Instructor: Jessica Keys
At the kindergarten level, students are getting started with the basics of math, such as counting, shapes and spatial relations. This article features some ideas you can bring into the classroom that will turn these concepts into fun and creative class activities. It's a great way to spark curiosity, foster interest and prepare young learners for more advanced reasoning and problem solving.

Magic Match

Cut out ten identical shapes of foam or tagboard; try any shape you like, or even a seasonal theme (like snowmen for winter). On one half of each piece, write a number from 1 to 10, with the corresponding number of dots on the other half. Each piece is then cut in half, separating the numbers from the dots; give each piece a slightly different 'puzzle edge' every time. The pieces are jumbled, and students must use counting and number matching to put them all back together again!

Building Blocks

Prepare cards with a different number on each; this number may be written as a numeral, the number word or countable dots. Put the cards in a basket so they can be randomly drawn. When a student draws a number, they have to build a structure using the same number of blocks (think: Duplo or other large interlocking blocks). Students can get as creative as they want with what they build, just as long as it's the right number of blocks!

For extra help or practice with the different ways we can express numbers, has lessons on number sense; covering numerical order, word names, comparison and more that you can use with your students.

Draw Seven!

Prepare a bag or bowl with pompoms (or similar) of two different colors. Students draw seven pompoms at random, and then count how many there are of each color. After recording these numbers, they can identify which number is bigger and which number is smaller.

Shape Hunt

This one is a little like a scavenger hunt. Students search around the classroom for signs posted in various places; each sign has a certain shape printed on it a certain number of times (e.g., five triangles). They must find the sign, identify the shape using the shape words on their checklist and write down how many they saw on the sign.

Be sure to check out's engaging, kid-friendly lessons on 2-D and 3-D shapes to help your students understand what these shapes are, how to differentiate between the two, and even as a review!

Pompom Placement

This is a very simple sorting activity. This station consists of a tub full of assorted pompoms and an egg carton. Students differentiate between each pompom by color/size and sort each different kind into its own space in the carton. They can then answer simple questions about more than, less than and equal to. For example, Are there more big red pompoms than little red pompoms?

This can also be done with tangram pieces or foam shapes to become a shape identification activity as well!

Alternately, students can fill out a bar graph or pictograph to illustrate the distribution of sizes, shapes and colors in a different way.'s lessons on data graphs can provide your students with a great overview of this topic!

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