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

Mathematics: Getting into shape

  • Hilary White

Develop children's mathematical skills by supporting them to cut food into shapes to produce a varied and colourful salad. Help them to link the shapes they have created with those in the environment.

Solve maths problems using creative powers

  • Claire Hewson

Invite children to solve problems to do with shape, space and measure by weaving them into exciting narratives featuring favourite superheros and popular picture book characters.

Provide baskets of natural items such as stones, fir cones, sticks and leaves

Following a pattern

  • Jenni Clarke

Identifying patterns in the natural and man-made worlds is a great way to develop an awareness of sequencing and basic geometry, as well as developing vocabulary and powers of observation.

Hoops are a versatile resource which can be used for a variety of number games

Get a feel for number

  • Jenni Clarke

Try these ideas for using resources to create tangible ‘number frames’ from one to ten. Children can have fun engaging with number physically while developing key mathematical thinking skills.

Mathematics: Ideas take shape

  • Hilary White, teacher, Somerset

In this last in a series on ‘maths talk’, we look at using heuristic play to introduce shape names and terminology, and explore linked activities that encourage children to confidently use new words.

Tuff Trays are an important resource at Cypress Primary School Nursery, in Croydon

Maths: Tuff problems

  • Hilary White, teacher, based in Somerset

For young children, mathematical learning and development is all about the concepts of quantity, space and distance. At this early stage, the hands on exploration of these concepts is of key importance – and a Tuff Tray makes the perfect resource.

Sticky situation!

  • Claire Hewson

Take time to make a tactile exploration of number. Claire Hewson suggests using petroleum jelly, flour and glitter to make slimy tracings and repeating patterns which children can identify and compare.

Latest Features

Hoops are a versatile resource which can be used for a variety of number games

Get a feel for number

  • Jenni Clarke

Try these ideas for using resources to create tangible ‘number frames’ from one to ten. Children can have fun engaging with number physically while developing key mathematical thinking skills.

Children enjoy time spent in the mud kitchen at Busy Bees Hartham Park Nursery.

Glorious mud!

  • Karen Faux

Winter is nearly over and if you’ve recently done an audit of your outdoor space, you might now be thinking about giving your mud kitchen a revamp, and introducing some new resources. If you haven’t yet set up a mud kitchen, now is definitely the time to start planning one.

Wrap up!

  • Karen Faux

'There's no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing,' as the saying goes. Use children’s colourful winter clothing as a link to many areas of learning.

Autumn leaves – free and versatile!

Autumn leaves – try these five creative activities!

  • Karen Faux

Autumn leaves are a key sign of the changing seasons and make a colourful, accessible and versatile resource for play and exploration. The beauty of them is that at this time of the year they are available in abundance – and completely free.

Plant some number ideas

  • Sal McKeown

Sal McKeown discovers how digital program Mathseeds is putting the fun into the learning and practising of key mathematical concepts at a London primary, and why teachers find it an easy resource to navigate.

View all Mathematics

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