What Your Kindergartner Should Know: Mathematics

Simple counting to 20

Teaching Tip: May I suggest simple counting in two languages? If you haven’t already, now is a great time to start.

For some reason, Math seems to be one of those subjects where many people feel you need worksheets. You can practice counting wherever you take your child. How many traffic lights have we passed, how many numbers can you find in the signs, or how many apples are we going to buy today.

One-to-one relationship

Teaching Tip: It seems common sense but young children need to be taught the idea that if there are 5 chairs, for example, there is room for only 5 people. We always use role play to teach this idea. “We have 10 teddy bears, how many squares do we need. Let’s count and give each teddy bear a square.”

Concepts of more, less than, same

Teaching Tip: If you don’t own math manipulatives, either get them or make them. Beans and egg cartons are a great way to teach more, less or the same. “Do you have more white beans or more dark beans.” Also, if you have been keeping track of the weather, ask your child questions such as, “Which have we had the most of so far. . .rainy days, snowy days, windy days, etc.

Sequence of events

Try this great game to practice sequencing.

Correspondence of quantities

Teaching Tip: I still maintain that following a recipe is one of the best ways to teach certain math concepts. Consider writing a special list to go pick up ingredients or write a recipe for baking cookies. Use pictures and corresponding numbers rather than words.

Ordinal-cardinal relationship

Teaching Tip: I’m almost embarrassed to admit this but our family teaches this concept with sports–most notably Fantasy Football. (Who came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)

Number-numeral relationship

Recognition of basic sets

Meaning of addition and subtraction

Introduction to number line


Elementary geometry (shapes)

Calendar and clock

Teaching Tip: Have your child make his/her own calendar. Include families members’ birthdays, special days and his/her activities. This is the most motivating way I know of to teach days of the week, dates, months, etc. Who cares to memorize poems about months when you can count how many months there are until Christmas?

Denominations of money

Websites: Here is a game that teaches your child to count money. You might be thinking this is too hard for a kindergartner but the trick is to start small. If you practice with money every day for about 5 minutes, your child will have it in no time.

Basic problem-solving strategies

Basic chart and graph concepts

There were so many fantastic websites that I love for teaching math that I thought I’d list them here:

Cool Math


Egyptian Math

Math Playground

Related Articles:

Cuisenaire Rods

What Your Kindergartner Should Know in Science

What Your Kindergartner Should Know Language Arts