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Early Maths skills

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Mathematics as a subject encompasses number, shape and measures. I will give you an example of simple ways to expose your child to each of these:


Number (1,2,3,4,5...) -


* Sing number rhymes (5 speckled frogs, 10 green bottles, etc).

* Count, count, count. To 5, to 10, to 20! Count fingers, toes, cars, leaves, lego.....

* USE numbers - children need to see that numbers have meaning, so lay out objects and count them in a straight line so that they have an end point to the count (if mixed in a clump, they will forget where they started counting). Then tell them, you've got 5!

* Show them numbers written down - on doors, on cars, in shops, on signs. Tell them what the number is and when you see it again, ask them what it is. Use number books from your local library to help and reinforce that numbers have meaning - 5 blocks = number 5.


Shape (Triangle, Circle, Square, Rectangle....) -


* Visit your local library for shape books. Most are colourful and give great examples of simple shapes, showing them in everyday usage e.g.: a circle clock or a diamond kite.

* Buy art packs or stickers of shapes and go create, naming the shapes to your child as you go. Remember to count the sides if you come across a pentagon or hexagon so that they see that they are different.

* Buy shape sponges and use them to paint/draw around. Remember, painting can be done with water outside as well as with coloured paints on paper.

* Create shape pictures, e.g.: a robot using rectangles and squares; a house using a variety of simple shapes; a fish using circles and triangles....

* Look for shapes in the environment - signs, flags, bricks, swing seats, light switches, photo frames - you'll be amazed how many you can find! Maybe be a shape detective and look for circles one day and a different shape the next!!


Measures (Length, Time, Weight) -


* Measure yourselves on a chart/doorway/with tape - who is the tallest? Who is the smallest?

* Order some toys from smallest to tallest (start with just 2 and build up slowly - it is very hard to see the middle sizes but easier to compare 2 items)

* Investigate how long things are in your home. Use anything at all to measure with e.g.: How many pencils does it take to measure the table?

* Investigate if objects float/sink in the bath. Talk about what is happening.

* Weigh ingredients for baking.

* Talk about time through daily routines - "It's 7 o'clock, time for bed". (Your child does not need to be able to understand the time shown on a clock until they are in Year 1).


I regularly post more ideas on my Facebook page. Please take a look.