Wild West Math Activities That’ll Spur Up Excitement

Math is my favorite subject, and it saddens me to see so many children develop a strong dislike for it early on. As we endeavor to teach our little ones math – the subject dreaded by so many – I truly hope to build such a strong foundation that everything else just falls into place. The fear and anxiety will dissipate, replaced by an excitement to solve the next problem. As early educators, we can do our best to make math exciting and interesting as we learn how numbers work and the patterns within the world. With that being said, this week we saddled up with a Wild West theme! Here are some hand-on ways to engage our preschoolers with some Wild West math activities. Try them out and may the horse be with you as you teach math to your little ones!

Wild West Math Activities

Wild West Math Activities for Preschool with background pictures of activities.

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Cowboy Chili Counting Sensory Bin

Cowboy Chili Counting Sensory Bin | Sensory bin filled with brown beads, plastic onion counters, yellow cubes for cheese, and red pompoms for tomatoes. Counting math activity for your Wild West theme!

The cowboys have been traveling along, and it’s time to stop and ask the cookie for some Cowboy Chili! These sensory bins are my kiddos absolute favorite! We used the recipe cards as a guide to add in cups of beans (brown beads), tomatoes (red pompoms), onions (vegetable counters), and cheese (snap cubes). This was our first time using round beads in a sensory bin. I have to say, it was an invigorating sensation running my hands through them and rolling them around in circles. So neat! The best part of this activity: no sorting at the end. Just dump it back in the bin and cook up another batch of Cowboy Chili!

  • Count and represent objects including coins to 10.
  • Match a quantity with a numeral.

Collect the Cattle Cooperative Memory Game

Collect the Cattle Memory Game | Cards with numbered cattle and cattle with tally marks. Cards with suns on them. Match the cattle cards before the sun sets with this Wild West math activity.

My daughter obsesses over the game of Memory right now. Every night before bed, this is the game she chooses to play during our one-on-one time. So it only made sense to turn it into one of our math activities for the week! Working as a cooperative team, try to find matches of cattle before the sun sets (you flip over all of the sun cards). It was interesting changing this to a cooperative game. We were constantly saying which cards we knew to help each other out – perfect teamwork!

This game can be easily differentiated by finding 3 out of 5 matches before players collect 3 suns or finding 6 out of 10 matches before players collect 6 suns. Just use one or two game boards. Collect the Cattle also comes with 3 decks of cards to choose from: numerals, tally marks, or ten frames. Grab this Wild West math activity here!

  • Count and represent objects including coins to 10.
  • Match a quantity with a numeral.

Pony Express Number Matching Activity

Pony Express Number Match | Envelopes with dots in the address label for students to count. Numbered stamps hooked on with Velcro. Mail bag and a horse.

Giddy up! The Pony Express helped cut down the time it took to deliver mail in the United States. Although the program was shut down after only 18 months, it paved the way to the 2-day deliveries we have today.

For this Pony Express activity, we quickly counted the dots in the address labels of the envelopes. Then, we found the numbered stamp that matched, stuck it on with a Velcro dot, and headed out on on our pony for a swift delivery. To add engagement, use a stick pony like the one we used for our Cowboy Ranch Dramatic Play.

  • Count and represent objects including coins to 10.
  • Match a quantity with a numeral.

Horseshoe Patterns Math Activity

Horseshoe Patterns Math Activity | Printout with a large horseshoe with blank circles and a cowboy and cowgirl. Colored translucent chips placed on top to create patterns for this Wild West math activity.

As a girl mom, my girls rarely brought up the topic of Wild West. However, as the week has gone on, I keep hearing, “Wee-haw!” from around the house. So cute! For this next math activity, we brought out our light pad, which I use as a small light table. The girls placed translucent chips on top – the ones with the metal rim – to match the patterns on the cards. After the pattern was complete, we said the colors aloud to hear the rhythm of the pattern. Finally, we swiped the chips up with a magnet. Swoosh! Grab Horseshoe Patterns here!

  • Continue and create simple patterns. 

Hide the Horse Measurement Activity

Hide the Horse Measurement Activity | Lettered haystacks on top of horse cards of similar sizes. Recording sheet with numbers next to each haystack.

I absolutely love measurement activities. They incorporate two skills into one: counting and measuring! For this Hide the Horse math activity, we spread out all of the horse cards and haystacks on the table. Then, the little ones tried to find haystacks that matched the horses in size so that the horses could find the perfect hiding spot. Next, we measured the height of each horse using the horseshoe ruler and recorded the number on the recording sheet.

  • Group objects according to their size using standard and non-standard forms (height, weight, length, or color brightness) of measurement.

More Wild West Activities

I hope that you are able to spark joy with these engaging Wild West math activities! Build a strong sense of numbers and create a love of math from the start! Don’t forget to check out more Wild West themed activities by clicking the buttons below!

Wild West Literacy Activities
Wild West Math Activities for Preschoolers
Wild West Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Wild West Dramatic Play
Wild West Books We Love for Preschoolers
Wild West bundle cover with pictures of all activities.

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