Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

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The predicted rain held off this week, and we’re finally getting outdoors!  Instead of doing math at the table we played an active outdoor math game for preschoolers.

very big and very small4 1000x1024 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

The other day as the kids played outside I told them to point out things that were large, small, or their same size. I noticed that my Two (almost three) didn’t have a great concept of “very big” and “very small.”  To him, the bicycle was very big.  Very small was a basketball.  I wanted to create a game that would give him lots of practice examining and comparing sizes.

I created a set of action cards to give our game some direction:

action card snip Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

These action cards are, of course, completely optional, but I liked using them for a few reasons:

1) I did my thinking beforehand and didn’t need to think of something on the spot.  I’m sure many of you have way more brain power than I do, but I am seriously beat by the afternoon.

2) It gave my daughter something to read.  This made her happy — and since she’s the oldest, her attitude often leads the way for her little brothers.

3) As the kids took turns choosing action cards, it gave them the feeling that they had some power in the game.

4) It gave the game some direction.  At a few different points both my Two and Four decided to quit playing.  But when they realized it was time to draw another card, they eagerly returned.

5) Okay, I have to say there are some pretty phenomenal mom bloggers out there with nary a printable to be found.  But I can’t help myself.   They’re just so clean, neat, and — well, printed!  I started making them on a manual typewriter when I played school as a kid.  Later I typed my eighth grade study guides on an electric typewriter, and in high school I charged $1 a page to type my friends’ reports on a word processing typewriter.  Now that technology has advanced so much, how can I help myself??

I printed the cards on bright paper, cut them apart, and put them in a container.

outdoor math game for preschoolers 1 the measured mom1 1024x768 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

The kids took turns drawing a card. My Five read them aloud.

outdoor math game for preschoolers 4 the measured mom 1024x768 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

“Find something smaller than a bike.”

outdoor math game for preschoolers 2 the measured mom 1024x683 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

“Run around something that is very big.”

outdoor math game for preschoolers 3 the measured mom 1024x768 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

“Sit on something that is very, very big.”

This game kept us busy for a while.  How did it meet the  needs of each of my kids?  It gave my Five some fun time with Mom.  It was an energy burner for my Four (and he always needs one of those!).  And it was a real learning opportunity for my Two.  By the end of the game his concept of size had really improved.

outdoor math game for preschoolers 5 the measured mom 1024x768 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

And my One enjoyed the action —  while he did his own exploring.

This kind of game is great for spur-of-the-moment outdoor fun or a planned math lesson.

Get your free action cards HERE.

need help downloading2 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

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button print grnw20 Outdoor Math Game for Preschoolers: Exploring Size (with printable action cards)

Comments

  1. This is the first time I have been on your site and I’m visiting from the Tender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers. I’m one of the co-host!

    I absolutely love your card idea and know that my 3 year old would love this game, mostly because it includes outside!

    Hope you come back and link up more of your great ideas!
    Dollie @ Teachers of Good Things recently posted…L-M Journaling IdeasMy Profile

    • annageig says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Dollie! I plan to link up to Tender Moments as often as I can. Thanks for hosting!

  2. What a fantastic interactive way to get outside and learn some core math skills for young ones! Thank you for linking up this week to the Hearts for Home Blog Hop. I hope to see you link up next week as well :-)

  3. Absolutely love all of the action learning! The hands-on learning and application is so effective with children. And darn it, it’s more fun than sitting inside.

    • annageig says:

      Thanks so much, Jeannine! I visited your site- it looks fantastic! I’m following by e-mail. Can I ask what’s the age difference between you and your sister? (if my daughter ever gets a sister there will be a sizable age gap…)

      • My sisters are 10 and 12 years older than me. A bit of a gap! We are very close and have always been extremely supportive of each other. It was fun growing-up with sisters who were always looking out for me. In return, I grew very close to their children. Our ages are all mixed-up but we are one big happy family. :)
        jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa recently posted…By: jjMy Profile

        • annageig says:

          So nice to hear from you again, Jeannine! Wow, 10 and 12 years! It’s so inspiring and encouraging to me to hear of siblings who are good friends with that kind of age gap. Growing up, our family was all very close in age (5 kids in 5.5 years – one set of twins), so that’s what I know. I don’t know what God has in mind for my family now. I love stories like yours!

  4. What a great way to teach relativities of big and small. Just popping over from It’s Playtime
    Coombemill recently posted…Expressions at The GalleryMy Profile

  5. This is fantastic!!!! What a fun game. I LOVE how you are incorporating the outdoors, math, and some exercise and fun all into one activity. Thanks so much for sharing at For the Kids Fridays over at SunScholars. I am featuring your post this week! Come grab a featured button… and I would LOVE to have you back to share with us again soon!
    Rachel recently posted…For the Kids Friday #111My Profile

  6. Such an awesome way to learn! This might be my favorite post from you yet. I’m also featuring this on The Sunday Showcase.
    Allison recently posted…Eruptions with Kool Aid and PaintMy Profile

  7. You have SO MANY amazing printables! And I love outdoor learning activities. Thanks so much for sharing your action cards! I featured your cards as the Free Printable of the Day at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow (and on Pinterest)
    Deb @ Living Montessori Now recently posted…May Themed Activities for KidsMy Profile

  8. What a great idea!!! I love anything that makes math fun AND combines movement. Awesome!
    Marnie recently posted…4 Parenting Tips: Preparing Kids for CampingMy Profile

  9. Visiting from Pinkoddy. I love this game and I agree — having something made up ahead of time is way better than thinking on the spot. Heading to check out your ladybug math now!

    Lindsey @ GrowingKidsMinistry.com

  10. Thank you so much for sharing them on MotivationalMonday they are so great!
    My boy has just learned big and small too so these are just perfect for where he is in learning – and so active and fun.
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Active Playtime Week #mwactive #MotivationalMondayMy Profile

  11. I’ll be featuring your great game at our Discover & Explore highlight post today – such a wonderful way to learn math and enjoy some time outside! Thanks for sharing this week!
    Jacquie@KCEdventures recently posted…Summer Movie Fun with your Teen #SeeSteelFirst #adMy Profile

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