How to Teach Fractions to Preschool and Kindergarten Students

Like all areas of mathematics, fraction concepts need to be communicated to young children with developmentally appropriate hands-on experiences and lots of play activities. Concrete objects, like pattern blocks and 3D fraction shapes, allow children to make sense of new math concepts or abstract ideas. Children need to have experiences with fractions that:

  • incorporate your senses
  • invite them to experiment and make observations
  • learn at their own pace, and
  • give them time to investigate a topic further

It is important that preschool and kindergarten math lessons provide opportunities for young children to develop number sense for fractions. Before children are able to perform operations (add, subtract…) with fractions, they need a lot of time to play and play with fractions. This will help them visualize fractions and understand that fraction segments are equal parts of a larger object, skills needed for more advanced fraction concepts. It is not necessary to teach symbols for fractions (1/2, 1/3…) in preschool or kindergarten.

little children are working for the following, skills that are necessary for more advanced fraction concepts in later grades:

  • be able to visualize fractions and
  • understand that fractional segments are equal parts of a larger object,

Introduce fractions with cooking, stories and games.

Cooking activities introduce children to the language of fractions and help them connect fractions to their everyday experiences. As they engage in these activities, children become familiar with fraction terms such as whole, part, half, third, fourths. For example – Cut the bagel in half, fill the glass halfway, let’s use part of the whole orange, put peanut butter on one half of the bread and jam on the other half of the bread, cut the sandwich in quarters…

Use fraction math manipulatives and puppet toys to make up simple stories

Here is a sample circle time story using an apple fraction toy, 2 puppets, and a basket:

Marty the Moose heard a knock on his door (knock on blackboard). He opened the door (squeak) and there was his friend, Sam the squirrel..

Improvise and have the puppets take turns cutting the apples and dividing them, keeping in mind that the goal is to introduce and help children become familiar with the idea of ​​equal-sized pieces that are part of a whole and fraction terms. like halves, fourths, thirds.

Play simple fraction games in small groups

Depending on the size of your class, you may need to divide the class into small groups, with half working in independent math centers with clay, drawings, blocks, or puzzles and the other half playing the fraction game. As children play games and play with fraction toys, they will develop number sense for fractions.

The more time children have to play with fraction toys and manipulatives, the more their ability to visualize fractions as equal parts of a whole will increase. For easy fraction game ideas, visit