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Musical and Interactive Comparing Games for Preschoolers

written by: Lisa King • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 11/12/2014

Sorting and comparing objects helps preschoolers discover how items are different and alike, and is crucial for developing math skills such as grouping. Children will learn these skills by playing fun, interactive comparison games sorting apples, jewels, shapes and animals.

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    Hokey Pokey Shapes

    Kids love to dance, sing, and play, that is why your Pre-K class will love comparing shapes, sizes, and colors while doing the "Hokey Learn With Dance Pokey." The teacher will cut out different sized circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, and ovals out of a variety of colored paper for each student and laminate them. Ask the class if they have ever heard the "Hokey Pokey" song before. Practice singing the song a few times. Tell them instead of body parts, we are going to use shapes. Place the shapes on the floor in front of the children. Review the shapes before beginning. Explain that they need to listen carefully, when they hear the shape, size, and color they need to find the correct shape on the floor and do the actions in the song. Start with shapes only. Continue with a shape and color or a shape and size, depending on your class' ability. Here is an example:

    You put your rectangle in,

    You put your rectangle out;

    You put your rectangle in,

    And you shake it all about.

    You do the Hokey Pokey

    And you turn yourself around,

    That's what it's all about!

    2nd verse:

    You put your blue circle in,

    You put your blue circle out;

    You put your blue circle in,

    And you shake it all about.

    (Repeat chorus from first section)

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    Digging for Jewels

    Preschool children will learn how to compare and arrange by shape, size and color with this activity. The teacher will hide several different sizes, colors and shapes of craft jewels in the sand table. Bags of different colored jewels can be purchased at Michael's craft store or other craft stores in your area. Show your classroom the jewels. Tell your students that the red jewels represent rubies, the clear ones diamonds, green ones emeralds and blue jewels represent sapphires. The children will dig for jewels. They will have three minutes to find as many jewels as possible. Tell them that the jewels are each worth so many points. The diamonds 5 pts., rubies 4 pts, emeralds are 3 pts and sapphires are 2 pts. After three minutes, the students will return to their desks and sort them in groups by shape, size, and color. The teacher will tally up the points and the student with the most points wins the game.

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    Juicy Apples Just for Me

    The teacher will print out a tree for each student and several apples. Make sure some are large and some are small. The teacher will have the children color their trees and apples. Tell the children that an apple can be red, yellow or green. Instruct them to color some of the apples red, some yellow, and some green. When they are finished, tell students they will be playing a game with the apples. Hand each child a strawberry basket. The children will sit in a circle on the floor. Students will put the apples on the tree and place the apple tree in front of them. The students will chant the poem:

    Apples, apples in the tree,

    Can I take you home with me?

    Apples, apples in the tree,

    Which juicy apple is for me?

    The teacher calls out “ Pick a small, yellow apple off the tree and place it in the basket for me." The children will find a small, yellow apple and place it in their basket. The teacher will repeat the exercise using different colors and sizes.

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    Race Against the Clock Animal Sorting

    Kids will scramble to sort and classify animals before the time runs out! The teacher will give students a variety of farm, ocean and zoo animals that are cut out from paper or they can even be plastic toys. The teacher provides students with a barn, an ocean, and a large zoo cage. These can be plastic toys or laminated cut-outs. If the children are using plastic animals the children may put their animals in a strawberry container (cage), bowl of water (ocean), and barn toy. The teacher will start the clock for two minutes. The students must put the animals in their home before the time runs out. Ideas for farm animals include pigs, cows, horses, chickens, and sheep. Ocean animals may include crabs, octopi, fish, whales, and starfish. Zoo animals may consist of lions, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, and bears.

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    Interactive Online Comparing Games

    Using online games is a great way to teach a variety of math skills. There are a variety of preschool games that can be found on the Internet that introduce and practice the concept of comparing. These include; The Laundry Game and Oscar's Trash Game, which can be found on the Sesame Street or PBS website. These games involve comparing different types of clothing and sorting them. The trash game is fun for students as they sort trash into separate piles by color. Disney Playhouse has a great comparing game for preschoolers called Mousekespotter. In this game, children must compare baskets of fruit by the design on the basket. The game starts off easy and gradually becomes more difficult as the game continues. Fun School is another wonderful site that has many of these types of games available for young children.

    Whether playing online or classroom games, these are perfect for reinforcing concepts within the preschool math curriculum. So jump in and let the games begin!

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    References/Resources

    Sesame Street:The Laundry Game,

    Sesame Street: Oscar's Trash Game

    Disney's Playhouse: Moustkespotter

    Classroom games by Lisa King, all rights reserved.