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 number in pots or bowls, play games to fill the correct amounts such as feeding teddy bear 3 biscuits and dolly 3 apples