Ice Cream-Themed Summer MATH Activities for Preschoolers!
There are few things that go together as well as summer and ice cream. This summer, invite your preschoolers to playful learning and critical thinking with ice cream-themed math explorations. Preschool kids will have fun creating and playing while refining and developing early math intuition, too.
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The ability to recognize patterns is one of the most important intuitive math skills for preschoolers. Patterns can be found not only in math, but everywhere in our world (in nature, at the grocery store, in the night sky, and in routines or human behaviors). Helping young kids recognize basic patterns will begin to open the door for mental math and intuition. When kids learn to identify, recognize, and create patterns, you’ll find they begin to make solid predictions about what happens next. Patterning is a foundational math skill that can begin early with preschoolers.
- Wikki Stix (Assorted Colors)
- Free Ice Cream Cone Patterning Mat – print here: Ice Cream Cone Patterning Mat
- Dry Erase Marker (if laminating the template) or a permanent marker
Directions for use with the Ice Cream Cone Patterning Template:
- Print the ice cream cone patterning mat to heavy paper and laminate if desired.
- Set out assorted colors of Wikki Stix for creating the colored ice cream scoops.
- Kids can begin to pattern by creating one colored Wikki Stix spiral (roll or wrap Wikki Stix around itself into a tight pinwheel) and placing it on top of the first cone.
- For younger kids, label the cones with a specific pattern such as: AB (A would be one color, B would be a separate color – the AB pattern repeats until the end of the row). Invite kids to finish each patterning row on the math mat by alternating the two colored Wikki Stix created scoops.
- Older kids can devise more complex patterns on their own using two or more colors of Wikki Stix to create the ice cream scoop spirals: AABB, ABBC, ABCD (four colors of Wikki Stix), and so on.
- As kids gain confidence creating the patterns, invite them to look around the neighborhood and the house. What kind of repeating patterns do they see? Kids will begin to locate and call out, “Hey, that’s a pattern!” Real prediction skills come when kids learn about patterns in the world and use critical thinking skills to determine what might come next.
Ice Cream Cone “Sprinkles” MATH Game Suggestions for Preschoolers (and ideas for older kids to play along, too)!
- Wikki Stix (assorted colors)
- Free Ice Cream Cones Templates – download and print the templates here: Ice Cream Cones Templates
- Permanent or Dry Erase Marker
- Print as many of the ice cream cones templates as needed. Laminate for durability and for ease of labeling if desired.
- Invite the kids to create a large ice cream scoops with Wikki Stix on top of the ice cream cone templates. The ice cream scoop design can be a large Wikki Stix circle or a more elaborate design based on the abilities and preferences of the child creating. Kids will have FUN and develop shape, space, line, and fine motor skills when creating with Wikki Stix.
- The cones for the activity can be labeled with any numbers, number words, or math problems for playful learning throughout the summer.
How to play with Ice Cream Cone “Sprinkles”:
- Preschoolers should look at the number, number word, or basic problem on the ice cream cone template. Kids can then cut small pieces of Wikki Stix to resemble sprinkles for the created ice cream cones.
- Suggestions might include: label 10 cones with the numbers 1-10. Preschoolers can create 10 ice cream scoops with Wikki Stix. The number of sprinkles (cut Wikki Stix pieces) added to the ice cream cone must then correspond with the number labeled on the cone. For younger kids, start with the numbers 1-5 and invite them to count out loud as they place each sprinkle on the created ice cream scoop.
- Older kids can join in the fun too with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problems. Wikki Stix is a fun manipulative to get kids off screens while creating, playing, and learning over the summer.
Wikki Stix has been entertaining parents, teachers and children for more than twenty years! Wikki Stix One-of-a-Kind Creatables are the award winning original waxed yarn creativity toy. Wikki Stix are Made in the USA. Follow on Twitter and Facebook for periodic giveaways and special discounts. Follow the Wikki Stix Blog for seasonal fine motor crafts and playful learning all year through.
For more ways to PLAY with an Ice Cream Theme this summer, please visit: