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How can I help my child's MATHEMATCIAL DEVELOPMENT at home?

Top strategies to support your child with his/her MATHEMATICAL SKILLS.

Maths in the Early Years should never be formal. Developing mathematical language and enjoying numbers, shapes and measuring in a practical context are far more beneficial in terms of cementing seemingly abstract concepts through application to real life scenarios.   Here are just a few ideas of how to support your child’s mathematical development at home, but please contact me for more individual and extensive ideas:

-          Counting forwards and backwards / Missing numbers out when counting purposefully and see if your child identifies the missing number(s) / Using puppets to help count / Vary the starting number (not always starting from 1).

-          Singing number songs (Eg. 10 green bottles, 10 naughty monkeys etc...) / Composing your own number songs for amusement or interest.

-          Playing board games to develop counting on and back skills / Dice games / Dominoes / Card games / Matching and sorting games / Puzzles.

-          Recognising shapes (2d and 3d) in the environment and around the home / Junk modelling (sticking 3d shapes together) / Talking about features of shapes using mathematical language (eg. corner, edge, side, face, straight, curved) / Cutting and sticking to make shape pictures.

-          Making, continuing and ‘reading’ simple repeating patterns (eg. “Red, yellow, green, red, yellow – what comes next?”) / Patterns can be extra fun through art work or creative activities (eg. painting, printing, sorting coloured pegs etc...).

-          Measuring and ordering objects from longest to shortest, heaviest to lightest, tallest to shortest, largest capacity to smallest capacity / Helping with cooking, DIY etc.../ Using non-standard forms of measurement (Eg. “How many of your hands long is the table?”

-          Early addition (start with adding one more, then two more etc...) / Dice games / Everyday talk (eg. “There are 10 cars somewhere, but I’ve only found 8, how many more do I need?” and then encourage your child to say/write this as a number sentence (eg. 8 + 2 = 10) / Number bonds to 5 and then 10 – How many different ways can you add numbers together to make 5? To make 10?

-          Early subtraction (begin by taking away one, then two etc...)...the language used in school may include “What is one less than 10?” and “Counting back”

-          Problem solving interweaved into your everyday life at home (Eg. “I’ve got 10 sweets here but there are 5 of us, what could we do to make it fair?”)

-          Money – In my experience this is the trickiest concept for young children to grasp; knowing that a 5p coin is equivalent in value to 5 x 1p coins is difficult. Therefore you can support this at home by allowing your child to handle coins, play with coins, develop a recognition of them and work towards an understanding of each coin’s value compared to other coins. Coin printing or rubbings can be an enjoyable activity to do too.

As previously mentioned, above is simply a glimpse into this area of learning as the mathematical strand is bulging with content. However, Maths is fabulous in the Early Years because it can be threaded through every day fun and games and need not be too time-onerous!

There are many more ideas and curriculum information I could give you and adapt to suit the needs of your individual child so get in touch if I can help further (www.bounceparental.co.uk or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and look at the services on offer www.bounceparental.co.uk/bounce-services). In addition, you can follow Bounce on Pinterest for an expanding supply of early years’ ideas and information www.pinterest.com/bounceparental or sign up to Bounce’s FREE monthly newsletter to get offers, news and updates.

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