Numeracy - ideas to try at home

There are many opportunities to support children’s development of number and shape, space and measure in our everyday lives.  Here are some ideas of things you can do at home.

Model mathematical language (size, shape, position, cardinal /ordinal numbers)

Use interests of the children e.g.

SPACE number of planets/comparative sizes of planets/ how far away (children like to hear and use large numbers)

CARS Sort for colour/line up 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. / compare lines of cars for longer, shorter lines

Sorting/ Matching

Pairing socks after washing

Sorting items on return from shopping e.g. tins/fruit/frozen

Selection of different sized pots and lids - matching correct lid to pot

Setting table- matching cups, plates to number of people

Simple picture domino and picture lotto games.


Objects (steps, buttons on clothes) and actions (jumps, claps)

Shopping (we need two tins of beans, five apples etc.)

Skittles game - How many are up/down?

Board games e.g. snakes and ladders

Hide and Seek – counting whilst somebody goes to hide

Baking – counting number of spoonfuls of ingredients


Bus/ house numbers

Shoe sizes

Prices in shops

TV/Microwave/remote controls

Countdown calendar for exciting events

Shape, space and measure

A Key element of mathematical learning is recognising and identifying patterns

Look for shape and pattern in the home and environment e.g. windows, doors, brickwork etc.

Make repeating patterns e.g. with laundry pegs red, yellow, red, yellow / actions hop, jump, hop, jump. Talk about the pattern.

Using positional language when playing Hide and Seek e.g. under the table, behind the curtain etc.

Discuss quantities when baking e.g. need more flour / that’s enough

Inset puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, different construction sets, stacking beakers, Russian dolls

Count strides to measure the garden/ line of Lego bricks to measure toy car and teddy. Encourage children to estimate before testing.

Find things taller and shorter than child, parent, teddy

Use time concepts e.g. before, after, next, later, now, today, yesterday, tomorrow.

Use of e.g. Sand timer/ electronic timer - How many times can you e.g. run up and down the garden, draw a circle, before the sand runs through/ buzzer rings

On the Park - apparatus is good for positional/ directional language. Up/down/ along/ over/ on top/ under/ forwards/ backwards

Encourage the use of directional language e.g. hide a toy for the child to find following your instructions (directional/ positional) e.g. Move forward. Stop. Turn. Stop. Look Up. Change roles- child to give you instructions.