Mathematics matters. Developing an understanding of mathematical concepts when we are young is essential, and children’s early mathematical understanding is strongly associated with their later school achievement.
Here are some ways that we can support parents to celebrate maths as part of their day:
- Board games, particularly ones with linear, numbered, equal-sized spaces can be useful for the development of early number skills. Most families will have ‘Snakes and Ladders’ or something similar; if not, this is a great opportunity to make your own!
- Incorporate mathematics into everyday routines and activities: tidying up and meal times in particular provide opportunities for conversations about counting, comparing, time, and sharing.
- Snack times and meals are a great opportunity to learn mathematics, such as counting, estimating and comparing. For example, with young children, you could count and match items in a ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic.’ You can compare quantities such as more or less or quantify food items (making sure to link the last number counted to the number of items in the set) or discuss the capacity of different cups or jugs. A parent or puppet can make deliberate errors in counting and sharing, with the child encouraged to identify these mistakes.
- Use mathematical vocabulary where possible as part of conversations and play: for example, when making comparisons (which is bigger? which teddy is first in line? who has more? are they shared fairly?). Opportunities can also be taken for ‘shape-spotting’ and sorting around the home.
- Finding the mathematics in story books.
Numberblocks is designed so your child can just press play and have fun while learning essential number skills. 90 episodes take them from number names and counting to a deep understanding of how addition, subtraction, multiplication and division work, via a host of key concepts in between.