Preschool graphing activities can consist of various forms. Preschoolers can learn about charts and graphs by using standard variables.
For example, variables can be shapes, buttons, colors, and even toys. More significant than creating these graphs is knowing what preschoolers will accomplish.
Preschoolers learn how to organize data and make sense of groups of items. Learning graphing at an early age prepares them to learn other types of graphing and analysis.
Picture graphs for preschoolers
One of the simplest forms of graphing is using pictures. For preschoolers, grouping together familiar objects like shapes and toys can come naturally.
They often will group other items as well, like blocks, crayons, and cereal pieces. However, when you gather these items into a chart and graph, your preschooler begins to evaluate these collections in a more meaningful way.
- white print paper
- color print paper
- construction paper (various colors)
- markers or crayons
- items of various shapes
- shape templates
- fine motor skill worksheets
- graph worksheet
Preschool graphing activities
Using the graph and shapes you have available enables you to create various graphing activities for preschoolers. Also, your preschoolers can practice number recognition after graphing each item.
- Print or copy the graph worksheet (make 2-3 copies).
- Optional: you can print in white or color paper
- Set aside
- Use two or five elements of different colors and shapes.
- Place each item at the bottom of the graph.
- Next, use a pencil to trace the contour of each item.
- Optional: after you trace with a pencil, use color to distinguish each item
- Then, move to the next row and repeat the trace.
- Vary the items from row to row.
- Ask your preschoolers to count the items in each column.
Use the Learning Number Sense lesson to engage your preschooler in asking variations of less than, more than, or equal to concepts.
You can also repeat this activity with other items like small car toys, miniature bears, buttons, or stickers.
Using shapes as graphing variables
Another valuable preschool graphing activity is to use shapes and colors. In this way, your preschooler groups familiar shapes and build knowledge about graphing.
- Print out the graph worksheet in white or color paper.
- Use the shape template or make copies of the shapes.
- Vary the color of each shape while keeping the same color for each shape group.
- Ask your preschooler to group the same color shape and count them.
- Paste the shapes on one row.
- Repeat for the other shapes.
- Next, ask your preschooler to count the number of shapes and evaluate the results.
Here is a good point for your preschoolers to analyze the differences between shapes and how to compare values. For instance, if there are three orange triangles and five yellow rhombuses, you have more rhombuses than triangles.
Graphing and counting
While common shapes and familiar objects make useful variables to graph and count, you can also use other items. Using the fine motor skills template enables preschoolers to practice various writing skills and develop graphing skills.
- Print out the fine motor skills and graph worksheets.
- Set aside
- Make several copies of the worksheets to allow your preschoolers to practice.
- Allow your preschooler to trace the patterns on each sheet using a pencil, crayon, or marker.
- Repeat as often as possible
- Ask your preschooler to trace different patterns.
- Next, count each pattern and graph that number.
- Repeat for other patterns.
- For small objects like the hook, you can cut and paste.
If you wanted to make multiple copies without using a copier, you could use the following method.
- Use two clips or clothespins to hold the template and a color paper together.
- Then, use a pencil or pen to press and trace each pattern heavily.
- Gently lift the paper, and you’ll feel the lines on the paper (similar to embossing).
- Use a darker color of marker to distinguish the lines.
- After you complete the tracing, you’ll have a copy of the pattern.
- Repeat if necessary
Preschool graphing activities can enhance other skills. For example, your preschooler can learn about shapes and colors while graphing.
More importantly, in each exercise, you enhance these learning skills by focusing on more than one interdisciplinary skill. When using the fine motor skill template, you don’t stop at that activity.
You can, if you wanted to, but enrich the learning experience in children with other methods. Adding graphing, counting, and sorting helps children to develop more than knowing numbers. In that way, you activate a part of learning that nourishes the curiosity in children.
This preschool activity is ideal for parents and educators that follow the Core Knowledge Curriculum Series or Head Start program. This activity’s learning objective is II-EL7.5b Goal: Develop the Fine Motor Skills and Strokes in Writing. This preschool activity covers II-MR4.14 Goal: Quantify Groups of Objects and II-MR5.1b Goal: Compare Written Numerals.