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Counting Trains Preschool Math Activity

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Look no further than your child's toy train collection for a hands-on manipulative to use to learn simple math skills like counting, 1:1 correspondence,  and addition/ subtraction.  What better way to learn and/or reinforce a new skill than with some of your child's favorite toys!  Basic math skills can be taught using a variety of different manipulatives, but recently we chose to work on number recognition and counting skills using toy trains.  

Look no further than your child's toy train collection for a hands-on manipulative to use to learn simple math skills like counting, 1:1 correspondence,  and addition/ subtraction.

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To set up this simple counting trains math activity, you'll need:



Preschool Math with Trains


Fill a small bin or tray with the trains and flashcards.  This allows the pieces of activity to be contained and/or re-used another day.

Have your child explore the materials in the tray and tell him/her that together you are going to count out the trains to see how many there are.  Lay out the flashcards in order as you count so that your child gains exposure to the numeral associated with a certain number.

Next, count again this time placing a train on each flashcard.  Continue until all the trans have been counted!


You can also use the trains to work on 1:1 correspondence, basic addition and subtraction, and sorting the trains by color.

Now, if your train-lover just cannot get enough of simple train play, you MUST check out this lovely book Old Tracks, New Tricks!!  We received a free copy to check out from Innovation Press, but  I wish I had this around when Big Brother was 3 or 4, he would've loved it!!  He was obsessed with all things trains at that age.  My two younger boys (4 &2) loved the playful story and rhyming text.  It was super engaging for all of us to look through and read.  It is a story of three tracks waiting to be part of a set.  They soon realize it isn't what they thought it would be-- yet the tracks stick together and teach the older tracks, "new tricks."   It is an adorable read and a great way to re-use those train tracks that may have gotten tossed into the garage or basement.

Learn and play with your train tracks today!!!  



 What are some simple ways you work on basic math skills with your little one(s)??

If you have a stash of Toob Toys, they are a great hands-on manipulative to use to learn letter sounds!