- Practise counting/chanting numbers with your child. When they are confident try starting counting from different numbers.
- Sing number rhymes together.
- Make mistakes when chanting, counting and ordering. Can your child spot it?
- Count interesting objects together (coins, pasta, buttons etc). Encourage them to move the objects as they count. Progress to counting in 2’s, 5’s, etc.
- Count things you cannot touch or cannot see (more difficult) such as cars in a car park or number of claps etc.
- Play games at home such as snakes and ladders, dice games or card games.
- Look for numbers in the environment. You can spot numbers at home, in the street or out shopping.
- Cut numbers out from newspapers, magazine, birthday cards. Put the numbers in order.
- Choose a number of the week e.g. 27. Practise counting on to 27 and from 27. How many places can you spot the number 27?
Practising number facts
To become good at mental maths (calculating in their head) children need to be able to recall number facts quickly such as number bonds, doubles, halves, times tables (upper year two) etc.
- Find out what number facts your child is learning at school (our weekly news letter always tells you). Try to practise these facts when you get a few spare minutes such as doubling numbers, near doubles (10 + 11 ), number bonds ( e.g. pairs of number which when added together make 10), times tables etc.
- Have a number ‘Fact of the Day’ and pin it up around the house.
- Play number ping pong. You say a number a number, they reply with how much more is needed to make 10. This can be extended to numbers which total 20, 50, 100, 1000 etc. Encourage your child to answer quickly without using fingers.
- Use a set of cards and turn over two cards. Ask your child to add them. If they answer them correctly they keep the cards. How many can they get in two minutes? This could be made more challenging by using 3 cards.
- Give your child a number fact e.g. 5+3= 8. What else can they find from that fact e.g. 3+5=8 or 8-5= 3 8-3= 5? This could be extended further by 50+30=80 etc.
Shapes and measures
- Choose a 3D shape of the week e.g. a cylinder. Find this shape in the environment (candles, tins etc). Ask your child to describe the shape to you (two circular end faces, curved edges etc).
- Play ‘guess my shape’. Think of a shape, your child asks a question to try to identify it, but you can only answer ‘YES’ or ‘NO’.
- Hunt for right angles around your home. Can they spot angles bigger or smaller than 90 degrees?
- Look for symmetrical objects. Encourage your child to draw/paint symmetrical patterns.
- Design a wrapping paper using a repeat pattern.
- Make a model using recycled rubbish. Ask your child to describe the model and the 3D shapes included in it.
- Practise measuring the lengths and heights of objects in the home. Remember to use metres or centimetres for this and try different types of rulers. Encourage them to estimate before they measure (make sure they start from 0).
- Carry out cooking activities with your child and encourage them to weigh out the ingredients. Think about doubling quantities to make a larger amount or halving to make smaller.
- Look at capacity by discussing and estimating how many litres/millilitres might be in a container? Compare and contrast.
- Choose food out of the kitchen cupboards. Put them in order of weight by feel alone. Check by looking at the amounts on the packets.
- Use a stop watch to time how long it takes to do everyday tasks e.g. how long does it take to brush their teeth? Encourage your child to estimate first.
Real life money /time problems
- Go shopping with your child to buy 2 or 3 items. Ask them to work out the total amount and how much change they will get.
- Get children to sort out the spare change jar. Sort the coins. How many 2p’s are there? How much do they total?
- Practise telling the time with your child remembering to use both analogue and digital clocks. Ask your child to be the ‘timekeeper’ e.g. tell us when it is half past four as this is the time for Brownies
- Plan an activity during the holidays. What time do they need to set off and how much money will they take?
- Use the TV guide to work out lengths of programmes. Can they work out how long they spend watching TV each day?
- Use bus timetables. Go on a journey. How long did it take? Did you arrive earlier/later? How much money was the bus ticket?
Here are some more games to practise maths at home.