Learning Preschool Math through Play

Preschoolers have a zest for learning as they are naturally curious. Teaching preschoolers the basics of mathematics can be challenging because their average concentration span tends to only last for mere minutes. As a preschool math tutor in Singapore, you’ll have to learn how to keep your students engaged in your lesson to ensure they absorb all the information being relayed. And since children are bound to concentrate for longer and be more engaged in things that interest and intrigue them, relooking lesson plans and activities can do wonders for their overall development.

To tap into the basic aptitude that every child possesses and to make your lessons more fruitful, teaching preschool math through play-based learning is one of the best ways to keep them interested in the lesson. Creating fun activities that incorporate basic math lessons can help spark your preschoolers’ curiosity for the subject that’s perceived as challenging to teach.

Why Introduce Math to Preschoolers

Math is a building block of learning where children can develop essential life skills. Introducing it to preschoolers will set a solid foundation upon which other basic mathematical concepts such as numbers, counting, and shapes can be built and fine-tuned. 

Aside from learning numbers and other preschool mathematical concepts, students can develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills which remain crucial well beyond their preschool years. With such essential skills, identifying problems, analysing them and finding an appropriate solution will come naturally over time. Moreover, their short-term and long-term memory skills will also improve by learning math.

Teaching math in the early preschool years also enables teachers to make early assessments of a child’s natural learning abilities. As they are introduced to various math lessons, they can display their ability to grasp concepts, understand, and apply them accurately. These can be useful indicators for identifying the child’s future academic success.

Teaching Preschool Math Concepts Through Fun Activities

Math tutors in Singapore prepare preschool math lessons based on the student’s age group to ensure they complement the children’s learning capacity. Math activities that are often included in the lesson plan are essential in keeping students engaged while they are simultaneously taught different basic math concepts, which include the following:

1. Number Recognition

Number recognition is identifying numbers by their names and matching them to their numerical form and representative quantities. This preschool math concept is taught early but will later come in handy in telling time, dialing phone numbers, and reading price tags. In general, preschoolers aged 3 to 4 should be able to recognise and remember the numbers 1 to 10 and easily visualise and identify the correct numerical term.

Activity: Playdough Math Worksheets

To help preschoolers with number recognition, playdough math worksheets can help them associate numbers with their numerical forms in an exciting way. To create this preschool math activity for your students, all you’ll need is a laminated letter-sized printout of the different numbers and playdough. Ask your students to mould the playdough to take the form of the number to make things more exciting and hands-on. Aside from number recognition, activities like these can also improve their motor skills.

2. Rote Counting

In rote counting, students recite the numbers in descending and ascending order through memory. Preschoolers should be able to enumerate the numbers 1 to 10 and slowly progress to counting up to twenty. While missing out on some numbers is part of the learning process, rote learning will eventually enable them to master the concept through repetitive practice. 

Activity: Oral Recitation and Number Songs

Repetition is vital when it comes to mastering numbers. To help your students excel, you can ask them to count together with you. As a preschool math tutor, you can make rote counting more exciting by adding other teaching methods to your lessons. Singing number songs such as “The Ants Go Marching,” and “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” for example, is considered a rote learning and memory technique.

3. Shapes

Shapes are a basic way to introduce geometry to preschoolers. Learning shapes aid in identifying visual information and distinguishing one object from another. Preschoolers must be able to distinguish the basic shapes such as the square, triangle, and circle. Through constant exposure to other shapes, they will later be able to identify more complex shapes like an oval, rectangle, sphere, and more.

Activity: Puzzles

Puzzles are common but are still effective in teaching preschool math in a fun and engaging way. Find shape puzzles and allow your students to match each shape according to each puzzle piece.

4. Measurement

While measurements like speed, volume and weight are taught in primary school math, preschoolers should first be introduced to measurement terms such as near and far, small and big, less and more, and others. When your students get a hang of these basic terms, you can rest assured that their introductory math lessons in primary school will barely pose a challenge.

Activity: Making Your Own Juice

Making your own juice is a preschool math activity that requires students to follow a recipe and use their motor skills such as pouring and mixing. By Instructing your students to scoop up or pour specific amounts of an ingredient and guiding them with words like “add more” and “pour less”, they can grasp basic measurement concepts and terms quickly.

5. Addition and Subtraction

Preschoolers should also be taught basic addition and subtraction, which can be useful skills in counting money, estimation, and problem-solving as they tackle more advanced math lessons. Addition and subtraction lessons can indeed be taught through online resources. However, you can use visual materials such as toys or Montessori learning materials to tutor your students in a more engaging way.

Activity: Counting Beads

To create fun preschool math activities that teach addition and subtraction, you can try using counting beads. Counting beads are manipulatives used to teach math through visual representations. You can write a simple addition or subtraction equation that your student can easily understand. Start with an easy equation like “1+1 =?” or “2-1=?.” You can use the beads to show how to solve the math problem. As you progress with the lessons, you can adjust the difficulty of the math equations your students need to solve.

Introducing Preschool Math Through FamilyTutor

FamilyTutor is a home tuition agency in Singapore that offers preschool programmes to university programmes that help enrich students’ academics including English, chemistry, physics, and more. Our one-on-one tutoring services are ideal for introducing basic math concepts to preschool students in a more hands-on and focused learning environment.

If you’re an online math tutor and want to establish a fulfilling career in the field, register as a tutor with FamilyTutor. We can partner you with a student who requires your knowledge and expertise. Contact us for more information about our tutoring services.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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