Maths in the environment

Establishing an understanding and enjoyment of maths is an important part of learning in the early years. In nursery we begin by helping children to think about relating numbers to quantity and beginning to think about concepts such as space, shape and measure. Even if you don’t feel confident with maths, you can still make a huge difference to your child’s ability by beginning to draw their attention to these ideas.

Maths is everywhere – pointing this out helps children understand it's importance, and enjoy it too. Here are a few suggestions for talking about maths in the environment with your child:

  • When using construction toys ‘how many blocks are there in the tower we’ve made?’
  • Traffic lights ‘Let’s count how long it takes until the green lights man comes on’
  • Street signs ‘What shape is that street sign?’
  • Mobile phones ‘what’s mum’s phone number?’
  • Clocks ‘when the big hand is on the eight that is home time’
  • Microwaves ‘your food will take three minutes’
  • Supermarkets, ‘How much are the bananas?’
  • Birthday cards ‘How old is Ben today?’ 
  • Sand play ‘I wonder what would happen if I put more sand in the bucket’
  • Water play, ‘Do you think the stone will float?’
  • Counting stairs, ‘How many stairs are there to your bedroom?’
  • Stories, ‘How many Billy Goat gruffs are there?’
  • Dressing, ‘Can you find the other blue sock?’
  • Cooking, ‘We need three spoonful’s of milk’
  • Tea time, ‘we need five cups around the table’

You can also sing songs involving number and number problems too:

Five Little Ducks

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Once I Caught a Fish Alive

Five Little Monkeys

The Ants Go Marching

As always, if you would like to discuss any of these ideas further do make an appointment and come and talk with us.