Three Movement-Based Activities that Teach Early Math Skills

movement-based learning

Math and movement? Sign us up, please! There are many early math skills to teach our little learners including recognizing numbers, counting forwards and backwards, understanding shapes, sizes, and patterns, and so much more! If you have been wanting your students to make deeper connections and grasp those early math concepts easier this school year, then you should start incorporating movement into your math lessons! 

Giving our students an opportunity to move their bodies elevates their mood and increases overall engagement! It also improves their memory and retention, increases their confidence and self-autonomy, and participation levels.  Incorporating movement in math doesn’t have to be complicated! I’m all about keeping it simple when it comes to incorporating movement-based activities into your classroom. I’m going to share three of my favorite ways to incorporate movement into teaching early math skills!

Take a walk

Taking a walk with your students outside is a great way to break up the day of being in the classroom, but you can also use this as a way to incorporate movement and teach those early math skills. Talk about getting the most bang for your buck, am I right? As you walk outside with your students you can look for different-sized objects, ask questions about size (small/big, short/tall), and you can even have students collect a certain number of leaves, create categories of objects, practice counting and so much more! 

Build and Move Mats

These build and move mats are some of my favorite ways to incorporate movement into our math centers! Your students will start by building a number on the left side and then they will perform the movement the same amount of times as the number shown! This is a great way to keep your students moving and engaged! These mats make it super easy to start incorporating movement into your centers this year! You can grab those mats here! 

If you want to grab a bundle of kinesthetic math learning centers, which is an insanely great deal, you can find that here!

Active Subitizing

Another important early math skill is subitizing. Subitizing is the ability to instantly recognize the number of objects without actually counting them. While this is a very important skill to teach students, I wanted to come up with a movement-based activity to go along with this! I created these Active Subitizing Slides to display on the board to students. In addition to students telling me what number they see, I also encourage them to share with me how they see and understand that number. Then after that, students perform the movement on the slide! For example, if the number four is displayed, they would subitize and then perform a wall sit for four seconds. 

You can see this product in action below and if you want to grab these slides for your classroom, I’ve linked them here!

If you want to learn more about how I’ve been able to incorporate more movement into my classroom, definitely check out this post! I talked about the benefits of incorporating movement and how it helps our little learners to make so many meaningful connections! Have you thought about incorporating movement to teach early math skills? What ideas have you tried in your classroom that have worked? I always love hearing what is working for other teachers and classrooms!