How to Create Awesome Back to School Preschool Math Activities

We are getting so close to going back to school! I’m getting very excited as I finish (and by finish, I totally mean start) prep work on our materials. Today, I am sharing some of the back to school preschool math activities that I will be setting up for my kiddos.

Back to School Preschool Math Activities

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BookTen Black Dots by Donald Crews

Back to School Number Puzzles

The first of our preschool math activities are these pencil number puzzles! These are so fun for practicing counting and number quantity. Plus, the theme is just super cute. I couldn’t help myself with them!

This work has two steps – first, children can lay out all of the cards with the number symbols on them. Here, they practice counting or number order.

Next, children can match the pencil cards to the corresponding symbol. Now, they are practicing number quantity.

How to prepare the cards

After printing the cards, you can cut them out by cutting. These, I like to laminate puzzles like these that will be used multiple times. They are a fun material that children tend to like repeating.

Materials you need:

  • Back to School Preschool Math Printables
  • Laminator
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Stickers or colored pencils

Note: I highly recommend adding a control of error to this work, as well. Again, this can be a set of stickers or something you draw on the back of the cards. Make sure that each sticker or drawing is unique to each set.

The first time I present this activity to my students, I invite them to join me. I always keep the cards on a tray, separated in two piles – one for the number symbols and one for the pencils with the number quantity.

I lay out all of the number symbol cards in order in front of me. I like to pause here for a moment and admire my work. I count out loud with my students.


Then I take one card from the second pile with the quantity images. I place it next to the first card on the floor in front of me. I ask the students if this is correct. If it is, I leave it and take another card.

If it is not, I move my pencil card to the next number. Again, I ask if this is correct. I repeat this process until all of the cards have their pairs.

The last step is to clean up the work. I place it back on the tray and carry it back to it’s spot. This step is very important and you shouldn’t skip it. I think it really leaves an impression with the students to see us clean up after ourselves, as well. This way, they learn he routine and expectation that they must also clean up their work.

Related: Have a look at our Back to School Number Clip Cards

School Supplies Number Matching

You can also use our school supplies number matching cards to practice those math skills! These are perfect for teaching preschoolers to count, practice number quantity, and number order.

You can present the cards with additional manipulatives, such as Montessori bead bars to give your students a little bit of extra counting practice!

Materials you need:

  • Back to School Preschool Math Printables
  • Laminator
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Stickers or colored pencils
  • Optional: Montessori bead bars and wooden numbers

Note: Again, I provide a control of error on the back of these cards.

Also, you do not necessarily need the additional manipulatives with this work. However, I like to offer them. At the beginning of the year, when you are still working on routines, the manipulatives may become a distraction so you should use your own judgment here.

To present this work, I used our 3 part card tray that my husband made for me. However, you can use a tray and bowls to keep everything separate. It is important only to make sure that children know where to put everything when they are tidying up, and that they can easily identify how to use the material.

To give a lesson using this material, you can do this the same way as the previous activity.

Number Order Cards

Another version of our preschool math activities that you can set up for back to school is our number order cards. These have both the number symbol and quantity on the card.

I do not add a control of error to this activity. I also laminate these cards.

To present these cards, I follow the same principles I always do – everything is neat and orderly. Children can look at the tray and understand what needs to be done.

This is for children who are struggling with counting. Now, they can place the numbers in order from 0-9. You can provide manipulatives for additional reinforcement.


Back to School Number Writing

The last of our math activities for preschoolers is a writing practice activity with several variations, depending on your students skill level. The printables I created for you come with a set of numbers tracing cards.

However, it is likely that most preschoolers will not be writing at the beginning of the year. At least, I know that at my school, we spend the beginning of the year working a lot with our 4-year-olds teaching them proper pencil grasp and developing fine motor skills before we even think about writing.

Buuut I know that some children are more advanced and that some of you may use this in your kindergarten or Montessori classrooms so I wanted to give you options.

Here are a few ways you can present these cards even if your students are not writing yet.

One of my favorite ways to prepare children for writing is to use sandpaper letters (or numbers) and sand. Before you even offer something for children to practice writing, these materials are I also offered the number cards with markers.

Another option for practicing writing is to use these cards with a small chalkboard. This can be the next step after children master the sandpaper numbers and sand. Children can easily erase errors and build confidence with the chalkboard.

Download Your Preschool Math Printables Here

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