Math Games and Activities
File Folder Game: An easy teacher-made idea for an "All about Me" themed math game is to create a file folder game. Create game pieces using pictures of the students' faces that have been laminated. Create a course for the game pieces to follow,such as "Get the Students to School". Use colored squares as in a CandyLand game board, and use a die to move the game pieces along the course. For an extra challenge, insert special squares along the course such as "Skip a Turn" or "Move Ahead Two Spaces."
Graphing: As a sign-in activity, create a posterboard labeled with BLUE, BROWN, GREEN, and HAZEL. Have children tell you what color their eyes are. Keep a hand-held mirror by the sign-in table to help with this. Each child should sign their name or place a sticker in the correct column, noting their eye color. Bring the sign-in poster to your morning circle time, and count the number of votes in each column. Create a bar graph showing the most common eye color in the classroom. Use words such as "most" and "least" and have children help count the votes.
Count the Feet: This game is best played in a large group. Have children remove their shoes for this activity. Line all children up in a row, and count their feet out loud. Ask children to help you count. Count again, but count the number of students in the classroom. Use this time to discuss the concept of pairs. Ask for examples of other body parts that come in pairs. Try the activity again, counting eyes, hands, or even fingers and toes.
Symmetry: An "All about Me" thematic unit is a perfect time to introduce the concept of symmetry to your preschool class. Gather large pieces of butcher paper and markers for this activity. Have each child choose a partner. One child from each pair will lie down on the paper while the other partner traces the outline of her body. Once all children have been traced, allow them to color and dress their paper dolls as they choose. Use the traced children to explain to children what symmetry is. Use a simple definition such as "When we draw a line through the middle of the paper, both sides will match." Point out that while your whole body is symmetrical, only a few features on your body are actually symmetrical. Use this activity as a jumping off point to show other shapes that are symmetrical.
Planning "All about Me" math games for preschool does not have to be any more difficult than planning any other activities for this thematic unit. Use your imagination and modify existing math games to work for an "All about Me" thematic unit.