6 Number Sequencing Activities for kindergarteners & preschoolers

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I hope you all have benefited from reading my number sequencing guide. Though I tried to be as elaborate as possible, but am sure you want to know how to bridge the gap between theoretical learning and its practical aspect.

I totally agree that though all done and said nicely, the challenge remains the same – How to make a child internalize number sequencing and allow him/her to be comfortable with it?

In our blog, we have told you about manipulatives, charts, worksheets. All these certainly bring the theory and practice closer. Another learning resource that you can always use to make learning interesting and fun is – activities.

Number sequencing activities take hassles out of the learning process. Apparently, these allow teachers and parents to give a learning resource that engages students better, helps them achieve a certain level of efficiency, and become more confident about dealing with the concept when they stumble across it in real-life situations. Besides, these help in smooth transitioning from a beginner to becoming an expert.

So, if you assess closely, here is what you offer to early learners when you encourage them to do number sequencing activities:

a. A practical explanation of concept – If number sense is telling you about the quantity a number carries, the number sequencing activity tells ‘higher or lower’, ‘before or after’, kind of concepts.

b. A way to stimulate the mind to develop thinking towards number sequencing

c. An alternative to books to learn number sequencing concepts derived from relatable objects and situations.

All in all, you help the preschoolers overcome the math scare and make it look like a thing they do on a daily basis.

Some interesting must-know number sequencing activities

Activities are the ideal way to help kindergarten students learn and internalize the basic numeric literacy concepts. Take a look at these activities that serve as a readymade resource for making preschoolers fully conversant with the number sequencing concept:

1. Play with manipulatives

You can make use of manipulatives like math manipulatives, decimal manipulatives, or place value manipulatives to create activities. For example, dominoes come with surfaces with dotted patterns, you can ask them to arrange in an increasing or decreasing order to give practice on sequences.

Now consider a fraction pizza. There are a lot of possibilities available with this fraction manipulative. Take a pizza-shaped manipulative and keep only one part in the slot. You can number it according to the common order you want to have. For example, number one part as 4 and the other one as 8. instead of writing, you can put dots to express the number. Now, with a number talk session, you can encourage the child to come with the next option fitting the sequence.

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2. Add numbers to Jelly Fish tentacles

jellyfish numbers activity for classroom
  1. Start the class by introducing a jellyfish, talk a little about it to draw kids’ attention to it.
  2. Now, show them its tentacles. The first and the last tentacle will be carrying the start and end number of a sequence. For example, you can start simply by 1 and 8 as the first and the last term.
  3. Ask children to fill the middle tentacles with the remaining numbers of this 1 to 8 finite sequence.

This activity is a good exercise for kindergarten students. They can practice counting and determine the sequence and also learn to identify and match numbers. So, ease their learning woes and make the counting and sequencing an easy task for your little preschoolers.

3. Make a number train on the wall

How about telling about number sequencing to kids through gamification? This activity will require little homework. You can decide in advance what kind of sequence you want to teach to students. Following that thought, you can do this activity through the following steps:

  1. Make 10 carriages shaped placards and make a hole on the top so that you can thread them
  2. Now draw a number of balls corresponding to the number using which you want to start the sequence
  3. Tell students about the common order you intend to use or encourage them to tell about any series they remember or know very well
  4. Encourage them to tell the next number of the series chosen, and give them time to draw the corresponding number of dots on placards
  5. You can appreciate their efforts by threading the placards in the sequence they make and hang it on the wall.
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This activity offers the students easy learning of number sense, number identification, orders, and sequences.

4. Playing cards

kids playing cards for learning

A classic deck can also offer a very entertaining way of learning number sequences. There is a game called Parliament, the game goes something like this:

  1. The equal number of cards are dealt to each player.
  2. You can decide a middle number to start the game, say 7.
  3. All the players carrying number seven keep it on the table
  4. The other players start making a series in increasing and decreasing order, means the left side of number 7 is expanded by placing numbers 6,5,4 and so on. Similarly, on the right side, the players have to put the numbers 8,9,10 till King

This game offers a very easy and participative way of learning the sequence of numbers 1-7, also you can help them practice increasing and decreasing order.

5. Make patterns of blocks

Colorful blocks can make an amazing activity material. Want to know how? Here you go:

  1. Ask children to pick at least 10 blocks each of the color of their choice.
  2. Now draw a pattern on board showing the sequence of numbers; you can include some gaps in the sequence to make the activity more challenging.
  3. Write the name of the student under each number of the series written on board.
  4. Ask the students whose name you write on the board to form a group.
  5. You tell the group to replicate the pattern drawn on the board on a table.
  6. Start by calling the name of the first student. Tell him to pick the number of blocks and arrange on table as shown against his name. Encourage him to select next student who comes and does the same.
  7. Once the pattern is complete, you can ask them to explain too.

6. Tidy up the room

An independent review of Mathematical Teaching in Early Years Setting by Sir William Peters suggests that teachers may tend to over-formalize the teaching process when they fear the loss of the message behind the staged activities. So, why not create situations for learning from normal activities like tidying up?

kids activities in classroom and school

In this activity, the teacher may spread a number of things of different types on the floor. Like, trucks, balls, dolls, etc. Now, she can ask a student to start picking the trucks and put it in a basket while counting them one by one, or arranging them in a sequence 1, 2, 4 and so on, before completing the action. Let’s understand more clearly by taking one item type, say, balls.

  1. Ask the students to pick balls from the trash
  2. Encourage him to tell a series of numbers using dodging by 2. Like, 1,3,5,7 and so on
  3. Now tell him to put the balls in number starting from 1. The student will start by picking one ball. Ask him to repeat the next number of the series and pick that many balls and put them in the basket.
  4. Do not forget to reward the child for clearing the balls off the floor.
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This activity will improve motor skills, memory retention, and help memorize the sequence chosen for the day.

Wrapping up,

I think there is nothing more enjoyable than doing activities when you are trying to make learning fun for kindergarten students. Those little beginners of number sequencing do simple activities, which make the whole learning quite interesting. Number sequencing activities make the teaching pattern more learning-oriented and enhance the concept’s internalization capabilities of early learners. If you want to ditch books for something more relatable, activities are worth giving a try.


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