I’ve been teaching my kids (ages 4, 5, and 7) simple ways to make a graph. This is old news for my incoming second grader, but graphs are fun – so she has been happy to play along. My preschool boys also enjoyed creating a variety of graphs with me.
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Graphing activities for kindergarten
1- Gather a pile of coins and graph by type
We graphed coins as part of our collection of 10 coin activities.
2 – Make a graph with nuts or another type of food
The key here is to graph something that comes in different varieties but that you don’t mind an abundance of! We graphed nuts as part of our fall math activities. You could also graph apples, citrus fruits, or dry noodles. Do you have any other ideas?
3 – Make a graph with toys
As part of our letter T Math, we made a transportation graph. You could also graph toy food (by food group), toy animals (by farm animals/zoo animals/pets or another way), Tinker Toy pieces, or even Potato Head parts. The sky’s the limit with this one!
4 – Make a graph about family or classroom favorites
Classroom teachers have an abundance of ways to make graphs about their students, but it can be tougher in families with a smaller number of people. Depending on how many are in your family, you might be able to make a simple picture graph to show favorites. Each of my big kids drew themselves on a post-it note and graphed their preferences alongside mine and my husband’s. We also graphed favorite vegetables, fruits, and desserts. The kids wanted to keep going, but it was time for clean-up and bed. We’ll pull this one out again!
5 – Talk a walk and graph what you see
Before we started our walk, I asked my boys to tell me things we would see in our neighborhood — without naming things that we’d see so many of they wouldn’t fit on the graph (like houses and mailboxes). I was impressed that they were able to come up with a lot of this list on their own. I plugged them into my graph, printed it, and off we went. This was a favorite for all three of the big kids (ages 4, 5, and 7). My Four has already asked to take another one. You could also make this a nature walk and challenge your kids to find wildflowers, bugs, and other things.
6- Graph toys by color
Duplos were the perfect toy to graph by color because we could stack them. But you could also graph any toy that comes in variety of colors by setting the pieces in rows on the floor.
7- Graph colored candy
My kids were beyond excited when I put M & M’s in the shopping cart this morning. It’s a rare day that I buy candy, but it seemed wrong to do a post on graphing and leave out M & M’s! You could also graph Skittles, conversation hearts, gum drops, or even colored Goldfish crackers.
For this post I’ve focused on basic line and picture graphs because these are the simplest for preschoolers to understand. You could also teach your child about line graphs by creating a graph to show his change in height or weight. Keep updating it and show him how the graph gives information: both his current size and how he’s grown since his last measurement.
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Hi, love your ideas they are great! Do you have the counting bears graph available for printing?
Heather Groth, Customer Support
Unfortunately, no, Trenell. We don’t have a printable for that one. Thanks!
Lee Ann Marler
I love all your graphing ides. Is your Neighborhood Walk graph available to print?
Sorry, I didn’t save that one!
Great ideas for getting started with graphs!
I love these ideas! Many of these could be used at home or in the classroom!
The Math Maniac
Thanks so much, Tara! Often when I’m writing I’m visualizing both the classroom and home so teachers and parents can both benefit. Thanks for the comment!
I love these ideas! So many times as a homeschooling mom, I am at a loss as to what we can graph. These are fabulous ideas! With the exception of a neighborhood, we live in the country, we will be doing all of these.
Thanks for reading, Holly! Glad you found some ideas you can use. 🙂
Holly: I live in the country too but we can still do a graph that asks about animals we may spot or different things in nature! I love these and can’t way to try them out!
Glad you can use them, Rachel! Enjoy!