Preschool age is a great time to introduce the idea of graphs. Graphs are such important visuals. They help us see the differences in groups. The idea of graphing with a preschooler may seem a little overwhelming but I have always found that even very young children enjoy this activity.
- Colored Blocks
- For the first section I simply drew a large rectangle on the paper and and divided it into equal sized squares the blocks would fit into.
- I filled in each square with a color.
- I also left some of these simple graphs blank so the children could make patterns.
- For the second graph I left a longer section to write in the color name and then divided what space was left into block sized sections.
- I then wrote in the names of the colors with the correct colored marker.
- I also added numbers to the bottom of the graph.
For the first type of graph I simply laid out the blocks and the graph and let the children find where they went on the paper. Some of my students were very into this activity.
This is a first look at graphing. Each block has a place to go on the paper. I love that with blocks the children have something to hold and touch as they discover graphs.
As some of the children really enjoyed working with the paper and blocks I encouraged them to make their own “graph” design. I added markers to the paper and they were able to decide where the blocks would go.
This particular student enjoyed the process so much I wasn’t willing to let it end there and I went and found more colorful objects to add to this learning process.
For the second type of graph more time needs to be spent with the child.
As they place a color on the right row we talked about how the purple block goes next to the word purple. Where should the green one go? Ask questions that encourage discoveries. Which color has the most?
I hope this simple graphing activity helps you and your children enter the fun world of simple math!