As teachers, Back-to-School Night is an exciting opportunity to connect with both students and their families. Incorporating engaging, hands-on math activities is a fantastic way to introduce parents to the learning experience while getting students excited about math. Here are some of my favorite three simple, yet effective, math activities for each elementary grade that both students and parents can enjoy together!

**Kindergarten** Back to school Math Activities for Elementary

**Counting Object Hunt****Materials**: Small objects like buttons, counters, or blocks**How to Play**: Set up a station with a variety of small objects. Ask parents and students to count out different amounts, such as “Find 5 red blocks” or “Pick 3 blue buttons.” For an extra challenge, mix in some simple addition or subtraction: “If you had 2 blocks and added 3, how many would you have?”**Shape Sorting****Materials**: Pre-cut paper shapes (circles, squares, triangles)**How to Play**: Have students sort shapes into different categories, discussing the names and characteristics of each with their parents. They can also create patterns (circle, square, circle) and explain the pattern to their family.**Roll & Cover Numbers****Materials**: Dice, number grid (1–10)**How to Play**: Students roll the dice, identify the number, and cover that number on the grid with a counter. Parents can help students with number recognition and counting out loud as they find the matching spot.

**1st Grade**

**Number Line Hop****Materials**: Large number line on the floor (1-20)**How to Play**: Students and parents work together to jump forward or backward along the number line based on simple addition or subtraction questions. For example, “Start at 5 and hop 3 spaces forward—where do you land?”**Spin & Add****Materials**: Spinners with numbers 1–6, mini whiteboards**How to Play**: Students spin the spinner twice, add the two numbers, and write the sum on a mini whiteboard. Parents can encourage students to talk through their thinking, “What is 4 plus 3? How do we find out?”**Tens Frame Bingo****Materials**: Tens frames, bingo cards, counters**How to Play**: Create bingo cards with numbers up to 20. Parents call out numbers, and students use tens frames and counters to represent the numbers before marking their bingo cards. It’s a great way for students to practice counting and number sense.

**2nd Grade**

**Place Value Puzzlers****Materials**: Place value cards (ones, tens, hundreds)**How to Play**: Students build numbers by combining place value cards. For example, a card with “100” and a card with “20” would make “120.” Parents can give a number for the student to build or reverse the activity by giving the number and asking the student to decompose it into hundreds, tens, and ones.**Addition War****Materials**: Deck of cards (remove face cards)**How to Play**: Students and parents flip two cards each and add the values together. The player with the highest sum wins the round. This game promotes mental addition and comparison of numbers.**Skip Counting Path****Materials**: Path of numbers (drawn or taped on the floor)**How to Play**: Students walk along a number path while skip counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s. Parents can ask questions like, “What number comes next if you skip count by 5s?” This helps reinforce skip counting patterns and sequences.

### Back to school Math Activities for Elementary 3rd Grade

**Multiplication Match-Up****Materials**: Flashcards with multiplication facts and answers**How to Play**: Students and parents work together to match multiplication facts (e.g., 3 x 4) with their correct product. This is a great way to reinforce fact fluency and get parents involved in the learning process.**Array Building****Materials**: Graph paper, counters**How to Play**: Students use counters to create arrays for different multiplication problems (e.g., build a 3×4 array for 3 x 4). Parents can assist by asking guiding questions like, “How many rows do you need? How many counters in each row?”**Fraction Puzzles****Materials**: Paper fraction strips (halves, thirds, quarters)**How to Play**: Students and parents work together to complete fraction puzzles by matching fraction strips to make a whole. This activity helps introduce and reinforce fraction concepts in a visual, hands-on way.

**4th Grade**

**Multiplication Bingo****Materials**: Bingo cards with multiplication problems, counters**How to Play**: Students solve the multiplication problems on their bingo cards and cover the answer with a counter. Parents can support students by asking them to explain their strategies for solving each problem.**Decimal Place Value Sort****Materials**: Decimal cards (e.g., 0.5, 0.25, 1.75)**How to Play**: Students work with their parents to sort decimal cards from smallest to largest. They can also compare decimals, discussing which are greater and why.**Word Problem Walk****Materials**: Word problem cards posted around the classroom**How to Play**: Students and parents walk around the classroom solving word problems. After solving each one, they can check their work and discuss different strategies for solving the problems together.

**5th Grade**

**Prime and Composite Number Hunt****Materials**: Number cards (1–50)**How to Play**: Students and parents work together to identify which numbers are prime and which are composite. They can then create lists or play a sorting game, classifying numbers into each category.**Volume Builders****Materials**: Cubes or blocks**How to Play**: Students and parents work together to build 3D structures and calculate the volume of each. Parents can ask questions like, “How many blocks do you need to fill this space?” or “What’s the volume of your shape?”**Order of Operations Game****Materials**: Dice, mini whiteboards**How to Play**: Students roll dice to create an equation, then solve it using the correct order of operations (PEMDAS). Parents can check the work and help students if they get stuck. This is a fun way to reinforce complex problem-solving skills.

**Closing Thoughts**

I hope these engaging Back to school Math Activities for Elementary will not only help students review and practice key concepts, but also give parents a chance to see what their child will be learning in math class this year. Plus, it’s a great way to build a positive, collaborative atmosphere in your classroom from day one!

Happy teaching!

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