Early Years Mathematics

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By Hilary White

Mathematics can strike fear into the hearts of the many who regard themselves as ‘no good at maths’. With this in mind, it’s useful to reflect on how often we use mathematical skills without even thinking about it.

child counting

From the child who judges height and distance when climbing a tree to the highly skilled accountant, we all rely on our inherent ‘mathematical mind’. The EYFS framework recognises the importance of maths by giving it the status of a ‘specific’ area of learning.

Drawing on the basic skills covered in the prime areas of learning, the exploration of number, shape, pattern and measure lays essential foundations for the child’s development and learning. With a little bit of thought and planning, maths can offer a fun and exciting way of discovering how the world works – throughout the early years and beyond.

Click on any of the following activities to access the full instructions, downloadable worksheets and curriculum links:

  1. Caterpillar Counting – This activity allows children to create quantities for themselves, as well as count and compare them.
  2. Number Fishing – This activity gives children the opportunity to practise counting and match numerals with their corresponding quantities.
  3. Exploring Numerals – Finding numerals in the environment helps children to discover that numbers are all around us.
  4. Shape Printing – This activity allows children to explore plane (2 dimensional) shapes and discover the link they have with solid (3 dimensional) shapes.
  5. Patterns – This activity offers a simple way of creating a pattern and also shows children that patterns are repeatable.
  6. Bigger, Taller, Heavier Than … – This activity offers a straightforward introduction to exploring and measuring mathematical properties.
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