parenting

Winter Preschool Math Activity

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When teaching math to young children, we often think of number-related concepts, such as counting forward, counting backward, simple addition, and simple subtraction. However, there are a lot of mathematical concepts that can be taught to preschool-age children that are not necessarily related to numbers and operations.

Preschool winter math games with snowflakes

Image courtesy of Andrew Magill

These concepts include sizes and shapes. This Winter Preschool Math Activity teaches children about different shapes and the concept of symmetry by creating unique paper snowflakes.  Snowflake Symmetry

Materials for Symmetry Snowflakes

  • Plain white paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Directions for Symmetry Snowflakes

The child begins by folding the paper in half (either way, but I prefer the short way). On the folded line, the child will draw a shape. I explained to my daughter in advance that she could do a rectangle, triangle, or semi-circle to begin, but after we did some nonstandard shapes.

draw shape

Your child will cut out the shape (provide assistance when necessary). Open the shape up and show your child how the two sides of the shape are identical. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the term "symmetry". Next, fold it back together and ask your child to draw more details.

draw details

Here are the types of details that my daughter added to our snowflake. Encourage your child to draw a variety of standard and imaginative shapes. Because these details are so small and intricate, I cut them out for her.

detailed shapes Here are the snowflakes my daughter created. Try folding them in different directions to figure out how to show two symmetrical halves. You can also try folding shapes into quarters before making the intricate designs to show symmetry in two different directions.

Snowflake Symmetry

To enhance this understanding of shapes and symmetry through winter themes, work with your children to create symmetrical Santa Claus faces, reindeer faces, and snowmen.

How do you teach your children early mathematical concepts beyond the basic numbers? What other fun winter learning activities do you play with your kids?

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Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, and work-at-home mother to two young children, Lydia (age 5) and Bryce (age 3). Carrie graduated from the University of Florida in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and in 2002 with a Master’s degree in special education. After teaching children ages 3 – 21 with varying abilities for several years, she completed her Doctorate in special education in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University. In March 2010, Carrie began writing Huppie Mama, a lifestyle blog focusing on family, food, fun, fashion, and fitness.

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