What to do with this activity?
You can buy inexpensive and colourful fridge magnets in the shape of numbers (like the ones in the picture above) in lots of shops or online.
Put them on the metal front of your fridge or on a metal notice board where your three or four year old can reach.
Let them have fun moving the numbers around, checking if they are upside down or the right way up. Show them that 6 and 9 are nearly the same, but one has the roundy bit at the bottom and one has it at the top. They will gradually get to know the shapes of numbers and what they mean.
Ask questions like - "How many eggs do we have left?" and put that number up where they can see it.
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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