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“Play is an effective vehicle for fostering Mathematical concepts and developing positive attitudes to mathematics... Adults in the pre-school setting should seek to extend informally the mathematical experiences the children have already had in their home environment.” (Curricular Guidance for Pre- school Education)

Image result for maths with children


Maths in the Home

Maths is everywhere in the home. With the support of parents, children can grasp many mathematical concepts through their play.

Here are a few ways in which you can use play to learn mathematical concepts.

Sand and Water

  • Using sand can develop mathematical concepts and language, e.g. heavy, light, empty, full, big, little

  • Conservation – how much will it hold

  • Make shapes and patterns

  • Provide boxes and materials of different shapes and sizes to compare weight and quantity

  • Look at the differences between wet and dry as a means of looking at weights


  • You can help to promote mathematical language such as – heavy, light, empty, full, long, short, big, small in relevant contexts

  • Look at your home environment to develop language, especially positional words – small object in front of big object, behind, in, on


  • The use of dough can help to develop a mathematical understanding for pre-school children.

  • Develops mathematical language – short, long, fat, thin

  • Make shapes of different dimensions – flat shapes, 3-d shapes

  • Create opportunities to compare things that float with things that do not

Imaginative Play

  • Simple activities like letting your child set the table for dinner can help develop counting skills, e.g. getting out three pieces of cutlery.

  • Involve your child with household activities. After washing, allow your child to sort clothes into different colours, or different types of clothes, e.g. t-shirts and socks. This will help to develop a child’s knowledge of shapes and colours.

    Books and Rhymes

    Enjoy stories and rhymes with your child that has a mathematical element, e.g. “One-two, Buckle my Shoe”,

    This can also help to develop literacy skills by showing your child that the print reads from left to right.

    Let your child count out items in the books – how many animals are on the page, how many items are blue.

Using rhymes can also help develop your Childs awareness of sequenceing

Physical Play

  • Develop fine motor skills through physical activity, e.g. Sorting out a jigsaw, Threading beads

  • Block play or playing with toy cars can help to develop sequencing by encouraging your child to sequence according to size, colour, use (e.g. bike, car, lorry)

  • Playing with different sized blocks can help to develop an understanding of weight and dimensions.

  • Tidying toys away allows children to sort into different sizes and colours.

It can also develop mathematical language – first, second, third, how many are blue, which is largest / smallest.


By planting seeds you can help to develop your child’s understanding of time and the life cycle of plants.

Watch as the plants grow and even measure your plant – develop language such as taller.

Teach your child about the different seasons and plant different items at different times of the year to compare colours, flowers, smells.


Click on these pictures for links to online maths activities and games you could use at home. 


ICT games 

Top Marks 

Crick Web 

IXL Maths 



Peterbrook Primary School, High Street, Solihull Lodge, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 1HR

Tel: +44(0)121 4302545