20 No Prep Math Activities

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Looking for more ways to incorporate MATH into your daily schedule, but need ideas that are NO PREP and ENGAGING?

Are the daily math lessons just not cutting it and you need more MATH VARIETY?

Are your students getting bored with the same DAILY MATH ACTIVITIES?

Whatever the reason, if you need NO PREP math ideas, you are in the RIGHT PLACE!

This list will give you PLENTY of ways to fill extra minutes throughout your day with critical math skills and extend upon your daily lessons to keep it fun and engaging for your students. Included below are a variety of simple, NO PREP math activities for centers, whole group, small group, and individual work time.

Math Activity 1 – No Prep Number Booklets

No Prep Number Booklets provide students with an entire booklet for each number from 1 – 20. These are perfect for morning work, early finishers, centers, homework, or review. The activities inside the booklet include number art, story problems, before and after, dice, cubes, dominoes, and MORE!

2 – Clap and Count

This activity is so simple but students LOVE it! The teacher or designated student selects a number, says it out loud, or writes it on the board, and then the class claps and counts to that number. So simple right? This is a great movement activity to practice one-to-one correspondence. You can do this activity sitting down, standing up, or even add a little dance move to it. It is the perfect way to incorporate math into those few minutes you have during transition times or between lessons.

3 – Addition Math Fact Practice

Addition Math Fact Practice sheets are SIMPLE to print and give to your students for supplemental practice during morning work or for early finishers. The practice sheets reinforce math facts students are learning in class and help them build fact fluency for math facts to 10. This resource includes BOTH a number bond format along with the traditional number sentence practice pages. Two options for differentiation, you choose which one works best for your students!

Math Activity 4 – Human Number Line to 100

My students love this one EVERY time! Sometimes we end up in line waiting to go somewhere, such as lunch, recess, or library, and we are a little bit early. This is the perfect time for a Human Number Line. The first person in line says the number “1” out loud and students continue down the line saying the next number. When you get to the end of the line, simply go back to the first person in line and continue counting. Whoever ends up saying the number 100, gets to go to the front of the line! They love the suspense and trying to look ahead to figure out who will say 100.

5 – Color by Number

Students love to color, and I love to add a little quiet, relaxation music to the background when they color. It’s a great way for students to relax or settle back into class after recess while practicing math skills. There is a variety of color by number resources to choose from. Depending on the season, there is a winter or spring color by number and students will enjoy the adorable hidden pictures. Winter Color by Number includes addition, subtraction, and number options. The spring resource includes a version for Kindergarten and First Grade, as well as a version for 2nd and 3rd gradeAnd coming soon!!! Our Summer Color by Number set for Kinder/First or 2nd/3rd. 👈 Get on the waitlist TODAY! 

6 – Shape Scavenger Hunt

A shape scavenger hunt is a great way for students to become aware of shapes all around them! You can do this in your classroom, take a trip throughout the school, or head outside to the playground. Encourage students to find circles, squares, rectangles, and more wherever they are looking! Talk about the shapes they find, compare them, and make connections. A great way to encourage and build math vocabulary skills along with shape recognition.

Math Activity 7 – Dry Erase Boards

Dry-erase boards can be used for SO many activities and students love them. It’s something that is definitely worth having a class set of if possible. To practice math activities, grab some dry erase boards and give your students a few options for math practice:

  • Write to a specified number (Depending on the skill you are working on, encourage students to write to 20, 50, or 100; write by 1’s, 5’s, or 10’s.)
  • Use the dry erase board to play Mystery Number (explained below in #8).
  • Write and solve addition problems on the dry erase board.

8 – Mystery Number

This can be played with the teacher and the entire class, or students can work with a buddy. Either way, one person thinks of a number and writes it on the dry erase board, hiding it from everyone else. Then, the person with the mystery number gives clues about the number and students take turns trying to guess the mystery number. Examples of clues are, “The mystery number is bigger than 5, but less than 20”, and so on. Guessing games always keep students engaged!

9 – Bingo Daubers and Chips

Grab the bingo daubers (or chips), print these 1:1 centers and you are ready to go! Students will practice finding the number, finding the sum, and more! ANYTHING with bingo daubers is always a hit and with 30 different centers, you have A LOT of options with this resource.

Math Activity 10 – Verbal Story Problems

If you have a few minutes to fill during transition times or before the next activity, this is a perfect way to keep your students thinking. Make up simple addition stories, but include the students in the stories! They always get a kick out of being in the story. Put the principal in the story and they think it’s hilarious. Here’s an example. “John went to school and the principal (insert name here) gave him three pieces of candy. Then the music teacher (insert name here) gave him 4 more pieces of candy. How many pieces of candy does John have in all?” Students can’t wait to have a turn to be in the story, so include as many names as you can in each story problem!

11 – Card Games

Grab a deck of cards, pair students with at least one buddy, and play a traditional card game of “War”.  Here’s a quick refresher of this game if you haven’t played in a while. Deal the deck of cards, face down to the students playing. Each student flips over one card. The student that laid down the card with the greatest number keeps all of the cards that were laid down. Keep playing until someone runs out of cards. The player with all of the cards in the end wins! For younger students, I sometimes take out the jacks, queens, kings, and aces to keep only the number cards in the deck. This is a fun way for students to practice comparing numbers. Simple, no prep, and great for early finishers too!

12 – Dice Centers

Dice Centers are 1:1 activities that include a HUGE variety of math skills. Students use dice to practice addition, graphing, plus one, even or odd, subtraction, counting to 100, and more with these printable center activities.

Math Activity 13 – Play Dough Numbers and Shapes

The possibilities are endless with playdough! Give students math-focused tasks such as making numbers or shapes. Students can also put those little finger muscles to work creating snakes or balls and making a designated number of them. Write a number on a dry erase board or chalkboard and have students make that many playdough snakes. Great for building fine motor skills, improving number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence. Giving each student their own container of playdough to keep in their supply box makes this a quick task for filling extra minutes throughout the day.

14- Write the Room

Get students up and moving AND practicing math skills with Write the Room Kindergarten or Write the Room First Grade. Both of these include various math skills including addition, counting, geometry, measurement, and subtraction just to name a few! Students will love searching the room for hidden cards while using their clipboards and recording sheets. There are various recording sheet options available to fit your needs in this resource.

15 – Human Shape Building

So simple, and still so fun! These are perfect for outside in the grass or in the classroom on your carpet. Draw a shape on the board, show students a shape card, or just shout out a shape. Then, set the timer and let students figure out how to make the shape on their own with a few classmates.

Math Activity 16 – Exercise and Count

Get moving! The perfect brain break and counting practice. Write a variety of exercises (one on each index card or popsicle stick) and then mix them up. Next, select a card and also draw a number card or select a random number and complete that number of exercises. Include the students and let them have a turn drawing an exercise card! Examples are jumping jacks, karate kicks, squats, and so on.

17 – Roll and Count

Grab some dice, roll them, and have your students quickly count and write the number rolled on a dry erase board or paper. Also, another option is to roll two dice and write an addition problem using the two numbers rolled. I use my document camera for this activity when I roll the dice. The whole class can easily see what was rolled by looking at the Promethean board. You could also play roll and count by sitting in a circle and rolling jumbo dice in the center of the circle. Students love getting a turn to roll!

18 – Domino Addition

It’s as simple as it sounds. Grab a bucket of dominos and let each student take turns selecting a domino. Then, create an addition problem by adding how many dots are on each side together. Students can write the addition problems on their dry erase boards.

Math Activity 19 – Math Videos

There are SO many amazing math videos for kids on YouTube! A classroom favorite for my students is Jack Hartman of course! Search the math skill you are working on in class and chances are that there will be at least one Jack Hartman video. There are also many other videos to choose from. I like to find my favorites ahead of time and create shortcuts to them for quick access. Math videos are great for brain breaks, or to reinforce math skills in different ways.

20 – Math Warm-Ups 

Math Warm-Ups are completely digital and require no prep! They are perfect for using as a warm-up as you transition to your math lesson. Math warm-ups save time and paper, are quick checks for understanding, and a fun option for “turn and talk” in your classroom. This resource includes all of the fundamental math skills such as counting and cardinality, operations and algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, and more. 45 weeks of spiraling math review at your fingertips!

Many of the activities listed above require absolutely NO printing OR prep. Just grab a few supplies and you’re all set! A few of the suggested activities are simply PRINT and GO math activities. These are great for the times when you need a paper and pencil task for students but have no time to prep.

Using a variety of math activities keep students engaged, encourages higher-level thinking skills, and allows students to see and apply math in the world around them. Do you have any other no-prep math activities you could share with us? Please leave them in the comments below.

Written By – Sarah Cason

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.