Mathematics

Mathematics is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to develop a child's confidence and ability with number but also to encourage their understanding of shapes, space and measures. It is important children are able to do this in a range of ways including adding and subtracting, using quantities and objects and understanding concepts like weight, position, distance and money.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover mathematics to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Maths: Thrills and spills

In the first of a series exploring water play, Jenni Clarke suggests how to make the most of opportunities for joyful, spontaneous maths learning, by seizing ‘teachable moments’ and using observation to gauge progress.

Maths: From a solid base

Children are at their most self-absorbed in the construction area which means there are strong opportunities for maths learning. Jenni Clarke suggests ways to support this through in the moment planning.

Maths: Taking the biscuit

Cooking is one of the most enjoyable ways to apply mathematical thinking and will help children to transfer their new found counting skills to many other activities and everyday tasks. Observe how they begin to correct their own mistakes.

Maths: A stones throw

Pebbles are a beautiful, tactile resource which can be used for matching pictures with real objects, investigating number and counting outdoors. You could also lay a trail to support the use of positional language, says Hilary White.

Maths: Grand designs

Children's homes are characterised by exciting shapes and patterns which can feature in their play. Jenni Clarke describes spontaneous scenarios, as part of in the moment planning, which can be exploited for rich mathematical learning.

Maths: ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’

Find out how this traditional festive song can help to consolidate number and sequence recognition, counting forwards and backwards, practising prepositions and also learning a variety of action words.

Maths: Follow a pattern

Seize the moment to support children to explore ideas to do with repeating patterns as they follow their own play and exploration. Snakes can provide the inspiration – by threading beads on to a string or using loose parts outdoors.

Latest Features

Focus: Mastering maths

Balance child and adult-led learning to build children's knowledge and skills.

Focus: Outdoor learning

Audit your space and take a fresh view on how to optimise its potential.

My little mermaid

Take a look at this month’s practical supplement which has a wealth of seasonal ideas to support children’s learning through play. Use our expert pointers on the Characteristics of Effective Leaning to create meaningful observations and enhance your knowledge of each individual child.

Young children’s maths learning in danger of taking a backwards step

Changes to the Early Learning Goals for mathematics in the revised EYFS do not reflect the input from experts and research, and will not support children to develop a love of the subject, says the Early Childhood Mathematics Group.

Maths is a piece of cake

Explore these tips which can be passed to parents at home for making maths learning a fun and stress-free experience.

Get baking!

Prepare for Easter by involving children in some simple baking activities that will also develop their maths and literacy skills.

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