Goldfish are always a popular snack with kids…but they make great learning tools too! Just don’t eat them all before you count them!
Make snack time a learning opportunity with this easy Goldfish Graphing activity included a free printable worksheet.
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This is a great activity for home or a group classroom setting. It’s probably best for 3-6 year old’s, so preschool to kindergarten. You can vary how you do it slightly depending on the age and ability of the kid(s) you are working with.
Graphing is great for developing counting and comparing skills which they will need before learning harder math skills.
- Free Printable goldfish graphing worksheet
- Goldfish Colors
- Optional: small cups to hold the goldfish
You will have to have the Goldfish Colors in order to do this activity. You can grab some at Target or your favorite grocery store.
Only the colors version will work as the bag contains goldfish crackers in four colors: green, yellow, orange, and what I would call maroon. You can let your kids decide what color it is for this activity.
1 – Give each child a graph worksheet and a scoop of goldfish colors.
You may want to give them a cup of another food as an actual snack to encourage them to do the graphing before they eat the goldfish!
2 – Have them graph their goldfish by putting one in each square above the matching color.
3 – Once they’ve added all their goldfish to the graph start asking them questions. Which has the most, which has the least or smallest amount? How many green fish do they have? How many orange?
For younger kids you may just focus on counting how many of each color they have. For older kids you can focus more on how to read a graph (like finding the total without counting all the fish) and the most vs. least questions.
They can then put the goldfish back and get a new scoop or just eat their fish and do it again another day.
Counting – One to One Correspondence
By having the goldfish organized with one in each square it’s a great way for younger kids to practice their counting.
One-to-one correspondence, or the idea that each object corresponds to one number and one number only is something kids usually develop around age three. So graphing can be a fun way to practice this.
Graphs are great for learning how to compare different groups of objects since they’re all organized in the same way. Kids can guess which has the most based on which line is tallest. Have them count to confirm their guess.
Then they’re doing some basic science as well!
Lastly graphing can be used to develop graph reading skills of course. This is going to be useful for older kids.
Help them figure out how to find out how many of a color they have without counting each one. Use a piece of paper or a ruler to help them track across to the first column where the numbers are and use it to identify how many are in a column.
For kids that have mastered the basics you can encourage them to graph by counting how many green there are and coloring in that many squares. This will allow them to practice graphing in a different way
For more graphing fun and more ways to build basic math skills check out these Counting Bears Activities.
Free Printable Graph
Grab the free printable by clicking the button below. It prints on one 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper. Not ready to print it now? Pin it for later and to help others find it too.
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Enjoy graphing…and eating your goldfish crackers! Visit the activity page for more fun.