Inside: A cute watermelon puzzle to teach preschoolers fractions
Turns out, we don’t have to try too hard to introduce fractions to young children.
All around them, they see real-life examples of fractions.
When they fold paper.
When they cut their birthday cake.
When they make us share our chocolate cookie with them.
These concrete experiences help children see the meaningful use of mathematics in their life. This is one of the best ways to for children to understand any abstract mathematical concepts.
Related: Before introducing abstract math concepts, make sure that your child has built a strong foundation of number sense.
How do we teach preschoolers fractions?
We can reinforce the learning by pointing out examples of fractions whenever we encounter them with
In fact, meal times offer many authentic opportunities for teaching preschoolers fractions. Task your preschooler to pour a drink equally into two cups, break a biscuit into quarters, cut a cake in eight equal parts.
We can also use toys to provide more hands-on opportunities for our children to explore fractions, like this brilliant Watermelon Fraction Puzzle!
This puzzle encourages children to make a whole watermelon in different combinations. Through playing the puzzle, children get a deeper understanding of fractions as portions of a whole.
How to teach preschoolers fractions with this watermelon puzzle
Watch this video to see this watermelon fraction puzzle in action!
- Ask your child to look for equal parts. Challenge them to make a circle with the same equal parts they identified. Talk about how two ½ make a circle, four ¼ make a circle and eight 1/8 also make a circle!
- Give your child time to put together the nested puzzle. This gives them a good visual of how halves, quarters and one-eights come together to form a whole.
- Discuss the relative sizes of ½, ¼ or 1/8 of a watermelon. Which fraction is the biggest and which is the smallest?
- Let your child explore the different ways to complete this watermelon nested puzzle. What combinations of ½, ¼ or 1/8 will form a whole watermelon? This activity helps to lay a strong foundation for teaching equivalent fractions in the future.
Making this Nested Watermelon Fraction Puzzle
- 5 pieces of square cardboard (each 8” by 8”)
- Penknife and cutting mat
- Hot glue
- Black marker
Here's What to Do
- Cut circles (each 7” diameter) out of 4 square cardboards to create 4 cardboard frames. Do not cut the last square cardboard. It will be the base of the puzzle.
TIP: Cut the frames slightly bigger so that the circle pieces can fit in easily.
- Paint watermelons on the circles. Let dry.
- Use a black markers to add black dots on the watermelon.Cut one watermelon circle into two equal parts, another circle into 4 equal parts and the third circle into 8 equal parts.
- Next, stick all the frames onto the base with hot glue. Your puzzle is ready.
Learning mathematic concepts can be fun and meaningful and totally homemade with this Watermelon Fraction Puzzle!
Here are more Early Math Activity Ideas!
Or if you're ready for a bit more, read more about the math skill of subitising, as well as activities that can help your child develop it.
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