Doing math with any kind of toy collection is a lot of fun for preschool! In this example the children are using Lego blocks! First they get a few minutes to just explore and play with the Legos. Then we have them sort into piles, perhaps according to color. Finally, they count out a certain number of blocks-usually whatever number we are working on. From there we can explore in many more ways! For example, we have the children figure out if the number is even or odd by placing the blocks in pairs. We may even organize in groups of three. We see what we can build with it, we count and sort it.
Here is another favorite toy collection we use: little plastic toy bears. In this pic they are sorted into pairs to see if there is an “odd man out”.