Mathematics

Maths: Hop in the box

Observe how motivated children become when they create their own number games and develop positional language by following each other.

Maths: Creepy crawlies

Bug hunts can be a focus for indoors as well as outdoors. Tap into children's fascinations, with cues to count, categorise and respect these tiny creatures.

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.

Maths: Testing the water

Use the ‘Big’ books of Julia Jarman to involve children talking spontaneously about mathematical concepts such as full and empty, big and small and near and far.

Get baking!

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

Maths: Master bakers

Easter baking is an opportunity to practise problem solving. Do children know what to do if they take their cakes out of the oven and they are not properly baked yet? How can they tell if a cake is cooked all the way through? It's time to decide!

Maths: All wrung out

Hand washing may seem old-fashioned but it is an eco-friendly alternative to using a washing machine. Get children involved and help them to consolidate their understanding of how a series of steps lead to a successful outcome.

Maths: ‘Ten brown cones’

Jenni Clarke provides a guide to how mathematics can be enhanced through in the moment planning, with continuous provision which helps practitioners to identify and extend learning opportunities for all children.

Maths: Animal countdown

Explore the books of David Walliams as a great resource to introduce key mathematical concepts, such as counting, writing numbers and comparing sizes. Making playdough snakes is guaranteed to be a hit.

Opinion: Out for the count

Is there a danger that, in squeezing in so many elements, the proposed Early Learning Goals for mathematics will be unachievable for all but a few children, leading to many being assessed as failing before they start school?

Mathematics: Number melt down

Children's natural fascination with snow and ice provides a strong impetus for counting when practitioners weave in rhymes and use resources imaginatively. Extend this to small world play with penguins and icy landscapes.

Mathematics: Monkey Do!

The fourth part of this series linking maths and children's books focuses on Monkey Do! by Allan Ahlberg and Andre Amstutz. As the Monkey jumps from page to page, use it as an opportunity to teach children in your setting about positional language.

Tuff decisions

Ailsa Chapman re-visits that stalwart of early years resourcing – the tuff tray, and suggests ways to extend its scope, with a range of imaginative ideas that children can take in any direction.

Start your week

Get your week off to a flying start with our suggestions for seasonal activities which embrace wet and windy weather! Don't forget to get involved with Early Years Wellbeing Week – and find out how one nursery is combating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Splish and splash

Children are often drawn to puddles. Take advantage of rainy weather to take the children outdoors to splash in the puddles and hone their mathematics skills in an entertaining way.

Mathematics: Ten in the Bed

Penny Dale's picture book featuring the popular rhyme is alive with onomatopoeia and crammed with detail, making it a great stimulus for counting backwards and learning to take away one from any number to ten.

Mathematics: Just one more apple…

The second part of this series linking rhyme and maths focuses on Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr Seuss. Use these ideas to get children adding up and using mathematical language as part of the fun.

Mathematics: Getting into shape

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.

Following a pattern

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.

Get a feel for number

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.

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