Building On

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Creative Investigations in Early Math

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Creative Investigations in Early Math

Preschoolers can learn math concepts naturally; however, as an educator, you can fuel your that students desire for knowledge and intentionally encourage creative explorations that will help your children building everyday math skills in the different environments they are exposed too.


In the book, Creative Investigations in Early Math, by Angela Eckhoff, PhD contains loads of activities that will support a cooperative classrooms and math lessons, contributing to their math and inquiry-based learning.



Building On


  • Gain experience recognizing numerals and number words, and count a number of items to add on.



  • Children will recognize both the numeral and corresponding number word from one to ten.
  • Children will be able to count out a specified number of blocks to add to a structure.



  • Small or large building blocks
  • Number cards with numerals and number words for one to ten



  • This game will require small groups of children to work together to build a collaborative block structure.


Activity Steps:

  1. Create groups of two to three children.
  2. Explain that the objective of this game is to see how large of a structure they can build together.
  3. Ask children to take turns drawing a card from the deck and then adding the number of blocks specified on the card to the group’s structure.
  4. Encourage group members to count together as one member adds blocks at each turn.
  5. If the structure falls or collapses, the group can begin again.


* Use the black marker to write each animal name on each picture.
* Tape one animal picture to each building block.
What to Do
1. Demonstrate how to build a pyramid by displaying a set of five or more blocks
in a row on the table.
2. Show how to stack a set of four blocks on top of that row, then three blocks,
then two, then one.
3. Once the pyramid is built, read each animal name aloud, as you point to the
animal words on the blocks.
4. Say "animal crash," remove one or more blocks from the bottom portion of
the pyramid, and watch the blocks come tumbling down.
5. Set the materials at the blocks center and invite the children to work
individually or with a partner as they repeat the activity.
Consider the following:
* Cut block shapes from colored construction paper. Invite the children to glue
the blocks to a sheet of art paper to form a pyramid. Allow the children to use
rubber stamps to stamp an animal picture on each block. Write the animal
name on each paper block. Invite the child to read the animal words aloud as
you listen and assess their sight word recognition and animal recognition skills.
* Create a pyramid and have the child copy your pyramid. One by one, place
blocks on the table. Watch the child as she imitates you. Observe to see how
well the child can build a pyramid similar to yours. Take turns removing
blocks from one another's pyramid from top to bottom as you read the
animal names aloud.