My kindergarteners used to love to act out story problems, but I always had trouble coming up with new problems on the spot.  So, I came up with some today so that you could use them without having a creativity block.  This skill is the first of 3 steps when it comes to learning addition, subtraction, etc.  Children learn strategies for solving problems in an age-appropriate way when they have the opportunity to practice in ways that they understand.  The following is a sequential process of teaching children how to practice solving math problems:

1 a) Acting out story problems using their bodies.

1 b) Using objects to represent the problems.

2) Using pictures to solve the problems.

3) Solving problems with a pencil and paper.

Today,  you are going to have your little one use dolls, action figures, toys, puppets, etc. to act out the following story problems.  You can even let them use their snack – goldfish, grapes, etc.

– Three brown horses were resting in their barn stable.  Two black horses were saddled and ready to ride.  How many horses are in the barn all together? (addition)

— Four girls were swinging together and two boys wanted to swing to. How many children will swing all together? (addition)

– Two friends were jumping on the trampoline when two more friends joined them to jump.  How many friends are jumping together? (addition)

-Five teddy bears were snuggled up in your bed, Mommy took away two and put them back on the shelf to make room for you.  How many bears will you sleep with tonight? (subtraction)

-I counted six goldfish on my plate, but then I took two away and put them in my mouth to eat.  How many goldfish are left on my plate? (subtraction)

-Five puppies were in the pet store waiting to for someone to take them home.  A family came in and bought one puppy.  How many puppies still need a home? (subtraction)

This is an oldschool picture of me, my cousin Claire, and my sister, playing with toys in bed back in 1988….any time can be learning time.