Need an Easy Math Activity for Preschoolers? Parking Lot Activity

Need an Easy Math Activity for Preschoolers? Parking Lot Activity

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Looking for a fun math activity for preschoolers?! This is for you! I’m an elementary teacher and school principal turned mom of 3 – I love sharing low prep activities, and this is one of our favorites!

Engaging preschoolers in developing number sense and math skills can be both fun and effective when it involves hands-on activities. Today, we’re diving into a creative and interactive math activity perfect for preschoolers: the DIY Cardboard Parking Lot.

This activity combines both the excitement of toy cars with the fundamentals of number recognition and matching, making learning an enjoyable adventure for little ones.

Math Activity for Preschoolers - cardboard parking lot


Cardboard piece (large enough for parking lot layout)

Colored painters tape

Matchbox cars

Sharpie Marker

Math Activity for Preschoolers - cardboard parking lot


Step 1: Prepare the Cardboard Parking Lot. Lay out the cardboard piece on a flat surface. Then, with a marker, sketch parking spots of various shapes and sizes on the cardboard to resemble a parking lot.

Step 2: After that, number each parking spot using a permanent marker. Ensure the numbers are large and clear for easy identification.

STEP 3: Then, label the Matchbox Cars. Using colored painters tape, label the top of each matchbox car with a number corresponding to the parking spots on the cardboard. For instance, the car labeled with “1” should go into the parking spot labeled with “1.”

STEP 4: Finally, invite your preschooler to join in the fun!

You can explain the objective of the activity: to match the numbered cars to their corresponding parking spots, or you can model yourself how you match the numbers. However, all in all, the most important thing is to follow your child’s lead! If your child isn’t interested in matching the numbers, don’t push it!

While you may encourage your child to pick up a matchbox car and find the parking spot with the matching number, it’s also OK if this doesn’t interest your child! Your child may want to explore and play in their own way – that’s ok! There’s no wrong way to play, and it’s ok to embrace however your child wants to explore the materials.

There’s no one size fits all in learning OR play!

Math Activity for Preschoolers - cardboard parking lot

Learning Benefits of Parking Lot Math Activity for Preschoolers:

Number Recognition: The DIY Cardboard Parking Lot provides a hands-on approach to learning numbers. Consequently, as children visually associate each number with a parking spot and a matchbox car, they reinforce their ability to recognize and identify numbers.

Matching Skills: Matching the numbered cars to their corresponding parking spots enhances preschoolers’ cognitive skills, particularly in the area of matching and sorting. This activity encourages them to make connections between visual representations (numbers) and physical objects (cars and parking spots).

Fine Motor Development: Manipulating the matchbox cars and placing them in the parking spots requires precise hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. As preschoolers engage in this activity, they strengthen their dexterity and control over their hand movements. As a result, this lays the foundation for future tasks like writing and drawing.

Problem-Solving: As preschoolers navigate the cardboard parking lot and attempt to match the cars with the correct numbers, they engage in simple problem-solving. They learn to observe, analyze, and make decisions based on visual cues, fostering critical thinking skills essential for academic and real-life scenarios.

The DIY Cardboard Parking Lot Math Activity offers a delightful blend of play and learning for preschoolers. Through hands-on exploration and interactive engagement, children develop fundamental math skills while having a blast with toy cars. As parents and educators, we can inspire a love for learning in our little ones by providing creative and stimulating activities. Most importantly, this makes math enjoyable and accessible from an early age.

So, grab your cardboard, tape, and toy cars, and let the math adventure begin!

Math Activity for Preschoolers - cardboard parking lot

More fun preschool math activities here!

Check out Fun Learning for Kids for an awesome list of math activities here!