The Twoness of Two

Early maths

Numbers are all around us, counting things, time, sorting objects ordering and for organisational purposes. Knowing the 'twoness of two' is vital to then fully understand later mathematical problems.

person holding green round fruit

We want our children to become confident mathematicians, in the same way that we want them to become confident readers and writers. Knowing about numbers and being able to count are an important part of the mathematical knowledge and skills that children need as they grow.

Children learn to recognise numerals by seeing them written down. They learn about the order that numbers come in by hearing and saying the number names.  However children need more than this in order to really understand how much each number is worth – to know the ‘twoness’ of two’. Knowing the value of each number will give them a firm foundation on which to build the rest of their mathematical journey.

Children need opportunities to experience and explore amounts in lots of different ways, this helps their brain to make the connection between number names and how much each number is worth.

Activities to try:

  • sort, match and count things that they can see and touch, such as pieces of apple and orange on their plate, or a collection of autumn leaves.
  • count sounds that they can hear, such as clapping, or pebbles being dropped into a tin.
  • have a number 'day'...  celebrate all things 2...2 shoes, 2 ears, 2 ducks in the pond, 2 carrots etc. Make sure you concentrate on just one number at a time before moving onto the next number.
  • write on or place numbers in pots or bowls, play games to fill the correct amounts such as feeding teddy bear 3 biscuits and dolly 3 apples

For more number fun activities with young children click the link on the sidebar.

Top Tip

Understanding numbers and their value does not have to be a separate activity in isolation. In fact children will learn far more and be more engaged when its done practically through play and everyday activities. This can be counting the steps as you go up the stairs, sorting out the socks while doing the washing, preparing the ingredients for cooking and singing songs and nursery rhymes. Using real items will give children an understanding of what the value of that number looks and feels like.
More number fun activities with young children
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Age Groups

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Games & Resources

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