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10 Tips To Help Your Child Learn Maths

Maths is about so much more than learning numbers and to count. Maths is also about shape, pattern, space, measurements and solving problems. And the good news is that there are lots of things you are doing already to help your child understand maths.

  1. Play “peek-a-boo” with your baby and hiding games with your small child. Make a post box out of a shoe box for them to post letters into. This will help them learn the mathematical concept of something being there one minute, then gone. Also, this shape sorter: Wooden Story shape sorter is brilliant for that as well as helping with shape recognition.
  2.  Bake a cake. Shopping for ingredients with a cash budget, then weighing and counting them, helps with understanding of money and measurement. The CBeebies website has some brilliant child friendly recipes.
  3.  Make it count. Count everything out loud - from steps on the stairs to plates, knives and forks for mealtimes, socks when getting dressed and sorting laundry and seeds ready for planting.
  4. Roll the dice. Classic dice games such as Shut the Box and Yahtzee are great for speeding up simple maths calclulations, and dice are handy to carry out and about with you for a quick, spur-of-the-moment game.
  5. Tell the time. Understanding the concept of time comes long before recognising the numbers on a clockface. Creating rhythms in your day for mornings, afternoons and bedtime will help as will marking the seasons as they pass.
  6. Bang a drum. Music and rhymes are brilliant for helping children understand mathematical concepts of beat and meter. Sing songs together such as “There were 10 in the bed…” or “Five currant buns…” and use fingers to count down. Musical instruments 
  7. Notice patterns and shapes. Notice patterns in the world when out and about. Look at paving stones, road signs, drain covers, brick walls, park benches, lamp posts. Spot particular shapes, for example, triangles, or oblongs. Also, look for patterns on treasures from nature - leaves, seed pods, conkers, acorns and shells. Gather some up for craft activities back home.

Puzzles & Games

Magnetised Shapes

  1. Build a tower. Using wooden blocks to build towers, cities, villages, and castles will help children learn about balance and how shapes fit together. Do some junk modelling with a pile of empty food boxes and containers and let the children experiment. Flatten some of the the boxes first, so they can see the relationship between 2D and 3D.

Wooden Blocks

Build & Create

  1. Start a collection. Talk about interesting things you’ve picked up on a family walk such as conkers, stones, twigs, leaves, shells, seaweed. Count them and sort them into groups depending on the age of your child. For example, younger children could sort into colours, while older children might sort into types of leaves. Use a book or other resource to look closely at the shape of a leaf and find out the name for it.

Wooden Toys

  1. Value your child’s work when they write numbers or make a tally chart or map just as much as when they paint a picture. To encourage them to use mathematical graphics in role play, give them receipt books, recipes, raffle tickets, maps and calendars or little notebooks and big fold-up sheets of paper to make their own.

Counting with Colours 

More ideas and inspiration

Family Maths Toolkit

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