Tracing Numbers Activities for Preschoolers

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Children will start learning basic math concepts in kindergarten and first grade, so they should learn about numbers during preschool. Teach your preschoolers not only how to count from one to 10, but how to write the numbers as well. Preschoolers will have an easier time learning to form number shapes if they are able to first trace them.


Make a worksheet that has simple addition and subtraction problems written out in dotted lines. Ask children to trace everything on the sheet. They will get practice writing the numbers and will also start to learn simple math concepts. Make another sheet with dotted-line numbers. Next to each number, show a picture that represents that number. For instance, next to the number four draw four apples. Write out the number's name in dotted lines as well. While children practice tracing the numbers, they will practice counting. They will also build writing and spelling skills by writing out the name of the number.


Give each child a sheet of paper with the numbers one through 31 written in dotted lines. Draw a square around each number. Put the numbers out of order on the sheet. Children must first trace each number then cut out each number square. Give each child a piece of paper to be the base of the calendar. Children must arrange the numbers into chronological order and glue them onto the calendar. Give each child a tracing sheet with the name of the next month. Once they have written the month, have them cut it out and glue the month to the top of the calendar. Students can take their calendars home or mark off each day in the classroom.

Numbers Collage

Bring in cookie cutters or magnets in the shapes of numbers. The more sizes and styles of numbers you can find, the better. Give children large pieces of paper and markers. Using the numbers, children will trace the shapes and make a collage of number shapes. You can also give them finger paint and ask them to use one painted finger to draw the shape. These large numbers are easy for preschoolers to hold. They also let children feel the shape of each number. If children can feel the shape, they may be able to better remember it.

Projecting Numbers

Write numbers all over a sheet of plastic acetate using a dry erase marker. Bring in an overhead projector. Position the projector so that the images on the acetate are reflected on a blank classroom wall. Tape up large sheets of paper in the projection area. Show the class the acetate with small numbers printed on it. Turn on the projector so children can see the enlarged images reflected on the wall. Give each child a marker and ask them to trace the reflected numbers onto the paper.


About the Author

Cooking, travel and parenting are three of Kathryn Walsh's passions. She makes chicken nuggets during days nannying, whips up vegetarian feasts at night and road trips on weekends. Her work has appeared to The Syracuse Post-Standard and insider magazine. Walsh received a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

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