Kindergarten Math Prep: 5 Skills Your Child Will Learn

Here's what your kindergartner will learn in school when it comes to numbers, plus how you can support their new skills at home with fun, simple math activities and games.

You are your child's first and most important teacher. All the daily lessons and reminders you provide as a parent help to guide your little one through our busy—and at times overwhelming—world. But when they enter kindergarten, they'll also begin to learn from others, including their teacher, school support staff, and other children.

Many of these lessons will focus on essential social skills like sharing and playing cooperatively, but your kindergartner will also begin to develop basic reading, writing, and math skills that will serve as building blocks for years of learning to come. It's an exciting time in your child's life and with a little extra input from home they'll be developing amazing skills right before your eyes!

You can help these skills grow and develop by getting to know the types of things they'll be learning in the classroom, then extending the fun outside of school. When it comes to math, we've broken down each important math lesson your child will start to experiment with in kindergarten, plus ways you can help them practice and perfect their emerging math skills.

Containers With Numbers On Table
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Children entering kindergarten will learn how to count to 30 and manipulate numbers by counting on and back, skip counting (where they count in 2s, 5s or 10s), and by reciting number songs.

How you can help at home:

  • Make counting a fun and frequent activity by counting constantly. Count their toys, their shoes, mailboxes on your walk, swings at the park—everything!
  • Sing number songs together like "Ten in the Bed" and read stories that have a counting component.

Adding and Subtracting

Your kindergarten age child will learn how to add and subtract up to ten in school. They'll also begin to learn number bonds to ten, that's the two numbers that make ten, like 7 + 3 and 2 + 8.

How you can help at home:

  • Set your child real-life problems like asking them to set the table and then saying, "Oh, we need two more."
  • Ask them to help out with chores and build number play into the exercise by asking them to put away four more toys, or asking, "If you eat two grapes, how many will you have left?"

Recognizing Shapes

Kindergarten age children learn the basic shape names and their properties. They'll be expected to identify and describe a circle, triangle, square, and rectangle.

How you can help at home:

  • Point out these shapes in your home and when you go for a walk or a drive.
  • Give them puzzles or games with shape matching and see if they can find different shapes around the house.
  • Ask them, "What shape is this lid?" or "Can you find a triangle in the kitchen?"
  • Get out the clay, Play-Doh, or kinetic sand so that they can physically make and manipulate their own shapes.

Understanding Time and Seasons

Children in kindergarten don't usually learn how to tell the time on a clock, but they do begin to explore the concepts of time in their own personal day as well as the seasons of the year. Most kindergarten classrooms have a circle time at the start of the day with a song where children look at the calendar and recite the day and month, as well as any special events coming up.

How you can help at home:

  • Share your own calendar with your kids, talk about the day of the week, and what you'll be doing that day.
  • Remind them of certain times that are important in their day, like when they wake up, school time, dinner time, bath time, and bedtime.


Kindergarten children learn to measure with non-standard units. That means they won't be accurately measuring to the nearest inch, but they will be able to physically measure how many blocks tall a friend is or how many hands wide a door is.

How you can help at home:

  • Talk about comparisons often, ask your child which is bigger/longer/wider, which is heavier/lighter and allow them to order different toys or household items by size.
  • Provide different size containers at bath time or in their water or sand table if you have one and allow them to explore volume and capacity.
  • Get them cooking with you and show them how to use measuring spoons and cups as well as a kitchen scale to measure dry ingredients.
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