Transition into school

Mathematical development

Young children are learning maths all of the time through a wide variety of play experiences that start from birth.

Maths is everywhere in the home and the world around us and is something that we all engage with constantly even though we may not realise it.

Maths isn't just about numbers, it is also about shape and space, measures and time.

Is your child able to:

  • count using numbers up to 10
  • count objects by touching each object, or moving each object as they say the number
  • match shapes together and find different shapes around them and know the names
  • use some mathematical language such as in front of, behind, in, under and on
  • know the order in which to do something like getting dressed
  • match the same objects and colours together
  • say which is big and which is small from two objects

How you can help

  • let your child help to set the table for a meal, counting out how many plates are needed and making sure that everybody has one
  • do some cooking together, weighing ingredients and counting out cups and spoonful's in a recipe
  • make counting part of the everyday routine such as how many steps to bed
  • sing number rhymes 
  • bring maths into everyday activities such as asking how many grapes would you like
  • encourage your child to talk about their day, retelling what they have done and talking about what they will be doing tomorrow
  • make patterns with toys for example car, bus, car, bus

Activity ideas:

  • Collect some empty bottles and use them to play skittles - if your child is ready to start recognising numbers add some numbers to the skittles, if not then just count 
  • sorting out the washing - sort the clothes into the same colours, sort the socks into matching pairs, count how many T-shirts are in the wash and which are big and which are small?
  • go on a number hunt - where can you find numbers?
  • when in the bath or the paddling pool, practice pouring and filling different containers and bottles, which container or bottle will hold the most and why? 
  • go on a shape hunt - what shapes can you see? 
  • let your child help to set the table for a meal or have a pretend picnic with their teddies…1 cup for me, 1 cup for you, 1 cup for teddy. Count how many cups you will need