What math should my child know in kindergarten?

Want to help your kindergartener with math? Then this helpful overview will tell you what math topics and skills you’ll want to focus on.

Kindergarteners are a marvel.

They’re energetic, curious, and their thoughts and insights on the world are a total joy to behold.

I always think it’s amazing how much children grow throughout their kindergarten year.

And I don’t just mean in the growing-too-big-for-their-clothes kind of way, but also in terms of how much they learn and how many new skills they acquire.

And it’s really no different when you think about learning math at this age.

Children in kindergarten are developing so many important early math skills. They’re learning to count objects, to order, write and compare numbers. They’re beginning to understand the value behind each number and to see how numbers relate to each other.

Supporting your child as they start out with math is so important.

And in order to do that, you’ll first need an idea of what math they should be working on. That way, you’ll know where to focus your energy.

The good news? I’m here to help.

Below, I set out all the math learning objectives I’d recommend you work on so that your kindergartener can get off to a flying start with math.

What math should I be focusing on with my child in their kindergarten year?

** Please note, the following is meant as a general guide to help parents/caregivers of kindergarteners who are visiting this site from not only North America, but all around the world. Please consult the education standards/curriculum for your country (or state/province) to find the exact standards being followed in schools in your location. EdGate has a very helpful resource where you can find the standards currently being used in your country or state/province. In Canada, each province is responsible for its own education curriculum. **

To keep things simple, I’ve split all the things your child is likely to be learning into two parts – firstly number work, and secondly ‘everything else‘.

Number work is quite rightly the focus at this stage as children hone their counting skills, learn to write numbers and build number sense.

The ‘everything else’ category covers the topics of shape and space, measurement, sorting/classifying, and time.

And so, here are the learning goals for kindergarten math, laid out for you in a simple bullet point format.

PART 1: Number Work

Numbers and Counting to 20

During the kindergarten year, help your child to..

  • identify, name, order and write numbers up to 20.
  • count up to 20 objects, arranged in different ways.

Comparing numbers

Help your child to..

  • compare numbers (both groups of objects and written numerals) up to 10 using vocabulary such as ‘greater than’, ‘less than’ and equals.

Counting to 100

Help your child to..

  • count to 100 by 1s and 10s

Addition and subtraction

Help your child to…

  • break down numbers (no bigger than 10) into two parts
  • add and subtract within 10
  • learn number bonds to 10
  • solve simple word problems involving addition and subtraction within 10.

PART 2: Everything Else

Space, shape and patterns

Help your child to…

  • name and identify common 2D shapes (such as circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, hexagons) and explore simple 3D shapes (such as cubes, spheres, cylinders and cones)
  • compare and sort shapes according to their properties and whether they are 2D or 3D
  • create shapes and join shapes together to make new ones
  • create, extend and copy simple repeating patterns (for example AB, ABC, and ABB patterns)

Measurement and Data

Help your child to…

  • compare objects according to attributes such as weight, height, length or volume.
  • measure objects with non-standard units of measurement (for example with a measuring stick made of unifix cubes)
  • sort and group objects according to their type, size or properties.


Help your child to…

  • become familiar with the days of the week and months of the year

So now you have a better idea of what your child needs to work on.

Next, head back to the kindergarten page to find math activities and resources that will help your child develop and practise these skills.

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