What to do with this activity?
Children love to collect and gather items, especially at the beach, in the park, in the forest or in a garden.
Ask your child to find a certain number of shells, leaves, rocks or sticks and to sort them by size, colour, shape or texture.
Look at the patterns on shells and flowers, and talk about the different shapes and colours. It's the first step to becoming a naturalist.
Why am I doing this?
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.
How can I do more?
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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