5 Must Have Math Games for Kindergarten Teachers

Monday, October 26, 2020

 Kindergarteners learn best through play, so why not incorporate more games in class?  Games are a fun and engaging way to build important kindergarten skills.  You can use board games to help to reinforce academic skills while practicing critical social skills like taking turns and winning and losing as well as fine motor skills. Below you'll find a list of my favorite, must-have games for kindergarten teachers to use in their classrooms. Teachers can use these games for kindergarten centers, morning work, small groups, and more!  


In case you have administrators that are sticklers for "rigor" in kindergarten, I included standards you can use to support using these games during your center time.  Your state may also have standards for social skills like taking turns and getting along with others that these games definitely support.  Still if games are a no-no for centers, you can always use these during indoor recess or free time.


*All links included in this post are Amazon Affiliate links.  I earn a very small commission if you choose to purchase using these links.  This helps to keep the blog up and running.  I only recommend products that I have used and love. 


Shelby's Snack Shack

shelby's snack shack numbers game
Common Core Standards: KCC.B.4 ; K.CC.C.6
PA State Standards: CC.2.1.K.1 ; CC.2.1.K.A.2 ; CC.2.1.K.A.3

The object of this game is to collect the most bones from Shelby's Snack Shack.  In this game, kids use tweezers shaped like Shelby, the pug, to transfer bones from the Snack Shack to your dog bowl.  The player with the most bones at the end of the game wins.  This is a simple, fun, and engaging game that students can play in small groups without an adult facilitator.   

Students will need to identify numbers 1 - 5 and be able to do 1:1 correspondence to retrieve the correct number of bones while they practice taking turns and winning and losing. 


Hi Ho Cherry-O

Hi Ho Cherrio Counting Game
Common Core Standards: KCC.B.4 ; K.CC.C.6
PA State Standards: CC.2.1.K.1 ; CC.2.1.K.A.2 ; CC.2.1.K.A.3

The object of this game is to be the first to pick all the cherries out of your tree.  

Students will be subitizing or counting to get the correct number of cherries out of the tree.  The cherries are pretty small so they will also be actively using fine motor skills.  This is a fun, easy-to-play game that is perfect for math centers. Kids will also need to be using their fine motor skills to spin the spinner and collect the small cherries from the trees. 


Dominoes

Kids playing dominoes
Common Core Standards: KCC.B.4 ; K.CC.C.6
PA State Standards: CC.2.1.K.1 ; CC.2.1.K.A.2 ; CC.2.1.K.A.3

There are so many great games you can play with dominoes.  You can teach your students the traditional domino rules which are great for subitizing.  

Another fun and easy game to play is similar to the card game War.   The students lay all the dominoes out on the floor or table and turn them over so you can't see the dots.  Then each round each student chooses a domino to turn over.  The person with the greatest number keeps the dominoes and the person with the most dominoes at the end of the game wins. 

One more way to play with dominoes is to have students put them in order from least to greatest or sort them by numbers. 


Mini Muffin Match Up

Muffin Sorting Game
Common Core Standards: KCC.B.4 ; K.CC.C.6
PA State Standards: CC.2.1.K.1 ; CC.2.1.K.A.2 ; CC.2.1.K.A.3

There are a few versions of how to play this game.  Students will practice number identification, color matching, counting, 1:1 correspondence, and sorting while using their fine motor skills!  You can see from the photo that our version is well-loved both by students and my own children.  

This one is one of my favorite games because you can use the muffin manipulatives in so many ways.   I got mine with Scholastic Book Club bonus points years ago, but it is on Amazon, too.   To make it more challenging and add some extra fine motor practice, you can include some fun tweezers or tools like these from Learning Resources. 


Froggy Feeding Fun


Feeding Froggy Learning Resources Game
Common Core Standards: KCC.B.4 ; K.CC.C.6
PA State Standards: CC.2.1.K.1 ; CC.2.1.K.A.2 ; CC.2.1.K.A.3

This is another simple game that incorporates fine motor skills, number sense, and color differentiating.  Students will roll a dice with a number and a dice with colors.  They use their frog to "eat" the number of bugs they roll.  The person with the most bugs at the end is the winner. 


BONUS ELA game Freida's Fruit Fiesta

Frida's Fruit Fiesta Game
Common Core Standards: RF.K.1.C
PA State Standards: CC.1.1.K.B

The object of this game is to be the first to fill your letter card.  

Students will use the tweezers shaped like Freida to move the letters from the fruit stand to their boards based on the letters they spin.  You could add rules that students need to say the letter sounds as well as match the letters to make it more challenging.  This is a great game for guided reading centers or even in small groups with students who are struggling with letter identification. 


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