Snack Time is Math Time

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

PreK math skills include more than just numbers. Pre-Numeracy skills such as matching, sorting, classifying, and one to one correspondence support a child’s number sense. Math can be found in almost every part of our daily routine and snack time is an easy opportunity to explore these concepts.


Enjoy a fun snack time with your child while learning pre-numeracy skills using the following steps:


1) Print out the placemats (slide them into a sheet protector if you have them handy)


2) Pick a placemat (Click Button to Download a PDF)

To Use the “Snack timeSorting” Placemat:

  • In the grey squares use a dry erase marker to draw pictures and/or write words to label the categories. I.e. draw a square in one and a circle in the other.



  • Offer snack to your child and model how to match the snack to the category. Invite your child to try it out. “I wonder where this cracker goes?”

  • Classify groups- You made a group! Tell me about your group?

  • Compare groups- That group looks like it has sooo many! Which one do you think has more? Use quantity words such as some, more, less, same, all, none etc.

  • Try again with new categories or add more categories to make more groups; big/little, colors, rectangle/triangle, fruit/vegetable, crunchy/soft, etc.



  • Offer a choice and include them in identifying snacks that would work with the placemat, What shapes should we sort today? I wonder if we have any snacks that are shaped like a triangle?”


Snacktime Number Sense:

a). Offer a finger food snack to fit into grey squares.


b). Invite your child to place one item in each square, “This one has squares and numbers! Here are some (snack items) let's put one in each square.”



c). Praise their efforts and draw their attention to the numbers “You did it! one in each square, I wonder how many there are?” “Yes, You have 6 blueberries, I see number 6 right here!”

4. Continue with new snacks and as your child progresses you can add concepts of addition and subtraction, “I am eating 2 blueberries, yum! Oh no! Now we only have 4 left!”



3) Allow independent access and use of the placemats by storing your placemats near the table so that they can be easily accessed by your child at snack time.


Try serving a snack and the placemat without additional direction, it may surprise you how they start to naturally match and sort. Pose opened questions about their thought process, “Hey I see you made two groups, how did you do that?”


To learn more you can also watch Anita in this video.