Summer Math Ideas for Kindergarten

  • In kindergarten, students learn to count, compare numbers, investigate addition and subtraction and measure and analyze data. Students also learn about 2-D (flat) and 3-D (solid) shapes. The intention of these summer activities is to promote engaging and fun learning experiences for students and their families, maintaining math knowledge and skills throughout the summer.


    1. Throw Snowballs to Make 10 - Make “snowballs” from paper (or any way you like), then place them in a bucket at one end of the room. Start kids out by having them toss snowballs into another bucket until they reach 10 (or any target number). Then, up the challenge by placing some snowballs in each bucket, and have kids figure out how many more they need to toss in to make 10.

    2. Stacking Cups to 100 - Kids love stacking cups, so they’ll get a kick out of this game, which has them doing it with 100 cups while they count! Turn itinto a competition by putting them in teams and timing them to see who can finish the task the fastest.

    3. Counting On with Cards and Dice - Remove the face cards from a deck of playing cards and grab a pair of dice. The first player turns over a card and then rollsthe dice. The number on the dice indicates how far they “count on” from the card. (For example, a player turns over a three and rolls a four. They say, “Three: four, five, six, seven.”) If the player gets it right, they keep the card, and the other player(s) get aturn.

    4. Shape Scavenger Hunt - Kindergarten math students are learning to recognize shapes in their environment and also to categorize and sort. This scavengerhunt does it all! Send them out to find objects in the room that match the shapes. Then count and compare to see how many youhave in each category.

    5. Skip Count with Craft Sticks - For this kindergarten math game, number a series of craft sticks by fives. Kids can practice by putting them in order first. Then, have your child draw a stick and count on by fives from that number to 100—if they draw 75, they then count 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100. If they get it right, they keep the stick, and the next player takes a turn.

    6. Pattern Snakes - Pattern snakes is a fun and easy activityto help your child work onextending patterns.When we talk about patterns with kindergartners, we are talking about simple patterns. We name these patterns ABAB or AABB, for example. That might be red yellowred yellow or red red yellow yellow. Draw a few snakes on a sheet of paper. Use stickers to begin the patterns on the snakes.Make sure to repeat the pattern twice. Have your child finish the pattern and read it back to you at the end.

    7. Number Hunt - Point out numbers around the house, such as, the kitchen clock, the calendar, a cereal box, a TV station, a stamp or inside ashoe. Have your child write down the numbers he/she sees, or give your child a number and ask him/her to look around the house for examples of the number.

    8. Dice Addition - This activity asks kids to write equations when using dice to generate sums. Kids can work in pairs, taking turns using one set of dice or they can do the activity independently. The child rolls the dice. They record the numbers on the dice, one as the first addend and the other as the second addend in the equation. They count all the dots and record the total in the equation.

    9. Grape Shapes - During snack time, encourage your child to build geometric shapes using grapes and toothpicks. Remind them that 2-D shapes are flat and 3-D shapes are solid. Ask them to name the shape and identify the number of sides, angles, and faces.

    10. Shake and Spill - This activity asks kids to fill a plastic cup with 10 pennies. Shake the cup, and spill the pennies onto the table. The child determines how many heads and tails are showing. They record the sum using drawings or equations. Kids should shake and spill several times to show different pairs of numbers that sum to 10. You can repeat this activity with different target numbers.