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Helping your child with Maths In Reception
Helping your child with Maths Try to make maths as much fun as possible - games, puzzles and jigsaws are a great way to start. It's also important to show we use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in this. Don't shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child. Here are some ideas: Help your child to feel confident with numbers by talking about them and using them during every day experiences. Count as many things as you can: the number of buttons as you fasten them, the number of fingers as you put on gloves, the number of socks as you put them in the washing machine or the number of place settings at a table Sing number nursery songs and rhymes as you are sitting in a traffic jam, walking to the shops etc. Many number songs such as Five Little Ducks or Ten Green Bottles, start with a number and count backwards. Some rhymes count in a forward sequence; a favourite example is '1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I caught a fish alive'
Use bedtime picture story books as a source of counting practice. Ask your child to help you to count, for example, the number of teddies in a picture. When objects are in a line, encourage the habit of counting from left to right Count actions as you clap, stamp, wiggle fingers or climb stairs. This is very helpful in teaching children to say one count for each action. When you count things, help your child to see that the last counting word you say tells you how many things there were. Do this by emphasising the last number you say: "one, two, three, four. There are four teddies. '
More Counting Help your child to count beyond 20 by counting steps as you walk to school. Try starting at a multiple of 10 (10, 20, 30, 40 etc. ) and help your child to count on. Number Recognition Help your child to learn to recognise numbers. Point out numbers you see in everyday activities, such as numbers on packets or prices, car number plates, house or bus numbers. Number Formation Help your child practise writing numbers. Start with 1 to 9, focusing on getting the numbers the right way around. The numbers below have a dot to show you where to start and an arrow to show the direction to form the number in.
Addition Give your child 2 groups of objects. Ask them how many altogether. Encourage your child to put the 2 groups together and count them. When your child is confident at combining 2 groups of objects, move on to dice. Roll 2 dice. Help them add the two numbers together. Dice are great for this because your child can count how many dots there altogether. Encourage your child to put the biggest number first and count on. If you roll a 3 and a 6, put the 6 first. Encourage your child to put the number 6 in their head, then count on 3 more. So, they will say 6, and count on 7, 8, 9. Children often want to count all the spots. Emphasise that we don’t need to count the first 6, we can start from this number and count on. Playing skittles Make a set of skittles using ten cardboard tubes which can be knocked over with a soft ball. Score 1 for every skittle knocked over. Talk about who has scored the most and who has scored the biggest number. One more and one less Ask your child how many they would have scored if they had knocked down 1 more skittle. How about 1 less?
Doubling Introduce your child to doubling numbers by using 2 sets of objects of the same size: Double 3 equals 6. 3 + 3 = 6. Start with numbers up to 5 and then progress to numbers up to 10. Sharing Give your child some pebbles/buttons/grapes etc. and ask them to share them fairly between 2 teddies, so it is fair and both teddies get the same amount. Subtraction Roll 2 dice. Ask your child to put the biggest number first, then subtract (take away) the smallest from the largest. Or you could write numbers (up to 10 at first) on pieces of paper and ask your child to pick 2, then subtract the smallest from the largest. Your child may like to use buttons as to help with subtraction. When your child is confident at working within 10, move on to 20 and beyond.
Repeating Patterns Help your child to recognise and continue repeating patterns. To do this, you could use buttons or simply draw coloured spots on a piece of paper. Start with just 2 colours: When your child is confident with 2 colours, move on to 3 colours: Size Talk about big and small and make comparisons between objects. Encourage your child to say which object is bigger, then move on to putting objects in order of size, from biggest to smallest and smallest to biggest.
2 D Shape Talk about the different shapes around the home and when you are out walking. (Circle/square/triangle/rectangle/pentagon/hexagon/octagon. ) 3 D Shape Ask your child what a 3 D shape is. It is one which you can hold in your hand. 2 D shapes are flat. Look for 3 D shapes everywhere you go. You could take photographs and make a 3 D shape book. The most common 3 D shapes are shown below: cuboid cube cone sphere cylinder
Money When you go shopping there are many opportunities for helping your child with maths. Let them handle money and help them to recognise the coins. Ask your child to give you 3 p. Ask your child if that is the only way to make 3 p. What other ways are there? Weight If you weigh foods when shopping or baking, share with your child how you read the scales. Encourage them to have a go at reading the scales for themselves.
Capacity Talk to your child about whether their cup is full or empty. You could also play games at bath time, letting your child fill a cup of water and empty it out again. Compare 2 containers and ask your child which one they think holds the most water. Help your child’s understanding of the world by talking about significant times of the day, for example lunchtime, play time, bath time and bed time. Introduce specific times, such as “ 7 o’ clock is bedtime. ” You could draw some pictures of significant daily events and help your child to put them in the right order. Use simple time language in everyday situations, e. g. “We’ll read a story before you go to sleep. ” “We are going to Grandma’s after school. ” “It will be tea time soon. ” “We are going to the park later. ”
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