The number zero is difficult to understand, especially for preschoolers. They need several lessons and activities in order to really grasp it. Having an understanding of zero from a young age will be beneficial to kids in math class.
Here you'll find 20 ways to help them learn all about this number, using a variety of creative learning activities.
1. Color the Number
Preschoolers usually love to color, so this activity is sure to please. I would have students try to color the zero in a pattern so they don't just scribble it in quickly and they can practice pattern skills at the same time. It's great when number recognition activities can be used for more than one skill.
Learn more: K12 Reader
2. Trace and Write
Learning to write the number 0 is important and a common preschool activity. First, they trace the zeroes, then they try to write them on their own. They get some muscle memory by tracing first, which typically makes independent writing easier. The visual of an empty bowl is helpful as well.
Learn more: Super Coloring
3. Itty Bitty Booklet
I love this idea. Students are given 14 different activities with the number and they're held together in a mini book. The variety of activities gives kids plenty of practice and there's bound to be at least 1 activity that appeals to every student. The author has mini books for all numbers up to 10 as well.
Learn more: Teach with Me
4. Thumb Prints
Some kids need to practice visually identifying numbers. Here, they will find the zeroes and then put paint on their thumb and make a print on them, using whatever color they choose. It also doubles as a good motor and color recognition activity.
Learn more: Mega Work Book
5. Activity Sheet
Even though there are sections that will look blank, the concept of zero is reinforced by having those empty boxes. Students can skip around on the page or do them in order, which, in my opinion, can give you more information on how they learn as well.
Learn more: Play Dough to Plato
6. Color the pictures
Kids have to be able to visualize what zero looks like when illustrated and then they get to color! Some students may have more difficulty completing this independently than others. It will give you more insight into how they process things too.
Learn more: Pre School Planet
7. Learn Number: Zero Video
A fun little video, that teaches both the concept of zero and a little about the weather in each season, in places that experience all four defined seasons. Children who are visual and auditory learners will benefit from this lesson.
Learn more: Youtube
8. Number Hunt
Find those zeroes and circle them! You can make this into a fun number activity by timing kids. Give them 30 seconds and see who can find the most. Activities like this aren't my favorite to give but do have their place when used in a creative way.
Learn more: Clever Learner
9. Zero Maze
My son loves mazes, so he would have loved this activity when he was younger. This fun preschool activity is definitely one that will be enjoyed! I would have kids color the zeroes after drawing out the path as well, so they get a little more practice with the number.
Learn more: Clever Learner
10. Q-Tip Painting
What a fantastic activity! Kids will have to get those pincher grasps working and go slow, in order to make these dots. It's a great hands-on activity that will reinforce the number zero and is also a pre-writing activity.
Learn more: Teaching Mama
11. Color by Shape
Preschool students typically like to color or paint by number, but this is done using shapes so that zero remains the focal point. It also can help kids learn how to color in the lines, as they are not straight.
Learn more: 99 Work Sheets
12. Number 0 Craft
I used to teach preschool and always loved the crafts that taught them something at the same time. There are templates for this activity and steps for assembly. This is a great hands-on preschool activity.
Learn more: DLTK Teach
13. Button Zero
This is the perfect bulletin board activity to brighten up your classroom. Buttons provide some sensory input while giving some creative freedom, as long as they make a zero. I would give kids a template to help them form the letter if they need the boundary as a visual.
Learn more: Dreams Time
14. Finger Tracing
Preschool students need hands-on activities, like tracing a number with their fingers, to learn a new concept. This is best done prior to pencil and paper type activities. Also writing with their finger in the air can be a great place to start.
Learn more: Activity Village
15. Cardboard Tube Zeroes
For a person like myself, there is nothing more satisfying than a perfect circle. While having paper towels or toilet tissue tubes remain a perfect circle may be challenging, they work. Kids love to paint and it's less messy than traditional painting activities.
Learn more: Poked Potato
16. Printable Poster
A printable poster is a wonderful addition to any preschool classroom. It's a great visual reminder of how to write the number, what it looks like in picture form, ten frames, and on the number line. Preschool students need different ways to look at numbers.
Learn more: Primary Learning
Dot markers can be used for so many things, including pre-math skills, such as this one. The motion helps kids remember how to write the number zero and dot markers make it fun.
Learn more: My Teaching Station
18. Playdough Number
Most preschool and kindergarten students love playdough. This multi-sensory activity teaches them how to write the word zero using playdough, tracing, and writing. The mats should be laminated for easy cleanup and to make them reusable, so kids can practice them again and again.
Learn more: Education Outside
19. Jack Hartmann Video
Jack Hartmann makes amazing videos that little kids adore and the number zero here will not disappoint. The way he shows how to write the number in the video is great and then he gives multiple examples of what zero looks like, along with the repetition of that zero means none.
Learn more: Youtube
20. Number Zero Powerpoint
What a cute PowerPoint! It teaches all about the number zero and gives several examples. This is a fantastic way to introduce the number zero to preschoolers. The only downside is that you need a paid membership to access the PowerPoint file.
Learn more: Twinkl