When I first learned that I needed to cover graph analysis with B, I panicked. How can I explain the x- and y- axis to a three-year old? And my rambling questions went on and on…
Graph analysis doesn’t have to be scary. However, it is something that you should explore with your preschoolers. Giving them the opportunity to create, read, and learn about graphs is a lifelong skill and one that can get a jump-start in preschool.
Today I wanted to share one of our favorite graphing experiences.
We have explored graphs in the past, especially with food items. We even spent the month of March graphing the weather each day. So B is no stranger to graphs and yet I think they can still be overwhelming.
Graph Analysis with Skittles
For this activity you will need a graph or piece of paper (if you make your own) and some Skittles.
You can prep ahead of time by creating, printing, or drawing out a blank graph for your kiddo to use. I forgot to prep our graphs, so I just drew a simple blank graph with no x- or y- axis titles. Which made me cringe, since Elementary School it has been drilled into my head that all graphs must have titles.
I gave B a small cup of Skittles and let her go to town. As she was working we talked about her method and why she chose that method. She was doing one color at a time instead of just whatever she grabbed from the cup. Her response, “because I had a lot of red right away and I wanted to see if it would reach the top,” It did by the way.
After she finished placing all of her skittles in her graph we dove into the analysis part of the activity.
We talked about highest/lowest lines and whether it was easy to tell which was the highest or lowest. We also counted out each color and talked about what graphs normally have on the sides. We also attempted to talk about the purpose of graphs.
Some concepts are a little easier than others but even asking some of the more complex questions is okay. The key is not to push your kiddo to frustration but to just see where their mind goes. You would be surprised at what they come up with.
Skills you can cover with Graph Analysis:
- Counting (One to One Correspondence)
- Greatest/Least and More/Less
- Writing/Storytelling/Creative Thinking – Have your little one tell a story about the items he/she just graphed.
- Addition/Subtraction – If we eat two red skittles how many are left?
For more Graph Analysis idea check out my Pinterest Board below.
Follow Dani Live Love Learn Gracefully’s board Graph reading for Preschool on Pinterest.
Great tools for graphing:
Graphing is a simple yet important skills for kiddos to learn, so grab your favorite multi-colored snack and get to graphing today. If Skittles are too sweet for you try Rainbow Goldfish, Fruit Loops, or Fruit Snacks.