What to do with this activity?
Your child will love playing with water. They can:
- - fill plastic cups and containers in the bath;
- - play with a basin of water in the kitchen;
- - play with cups or containers outside; or
- - help you water plants outside.
Children love filling containers and emptying them again. You can add some maths practice to the play by talking about:
- - whether the cup is full - “fill it up to the top”, half-full or empty;
- - which container is the smallest and which is the biggest;
- - counting how many small cups it takes to fill a big container.
Maths is more than working with numbers. It also consists of shape and space, patterns, measuring – things you do and come across in everyday life. When children begin to learn formal maths at school, they are building on a foundation of early numeracy learning from home. Even though they may not even be aware of it, parents and children engage in numeracy activity as part of their everyday lives.
Always teach numbers in a natural way through everyday activities and play. Count steps on a stairs, food in your shopping trolley or cows in a field. Compare things when talking big or small, long or short, older or younger and faster or slower: “You carry the small box and I’ll take the big one.” Use the words – up and down, over and under, near or far, more or less when talking to your child. Talk about the shapes of everyday things. Ask your child what shapes they can see around the room they’re in.
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