Welcome to Mumsnet!

We’re delighted you’ve found us. Join in the conversation on the UK's busiest site for parents

Get started »

Supporting Reception maths

Counting and numbers

At the end of the Reception year, most children will be able to:

  • Count reliably up to 10 everyday objects
  • Find one more or one less than a given number
  • Say number names in order in familiar settings
  • Begin to relate addition to putting two sets of objects together and subtraction as taking away from a set of objects.

You can support all of these concepts through everyday activities. Counting games or songs are a great way of helping children to order numbers. For example 'One potato, two potato' helps with the understanding of adding one and '10 Green Bottles' will reinforce understanding of subtracting one each time.

Share out food, sweets etc. Ask your child a question such as: 'If mummy has two strawberries and you have two strawberries, how many do we have altogether?', then model sharing them out between you. This idea can be adapted to include more people/toys as necessary.

Counting to 10 and to 20 can be fun in many different ways. Use foam, wooden or magnetic letters and put them in order, starting from as few or as many numbers as your child is comfortable with. By asking them to find certain numbers you can aid their recognition. If you ask them to find the number five you could then move on to asking them to find the number that comes before and after and you can eventually work up to a full sequence.

In order to gain a good understanding of numeracy your child will need to understand the language that is used. They will be introduced to more than, less than, bigger than and smaller than etc. By using this type of language you will reinforce the learning happening in the classroom.

Another way of supporting your child is to look for bus or door numbers when out and about, ask them to tell you the numbers and then question them as to what numbers would be bigger/smaller etc.

Baking is another great way of supporting numeracy and is used in schools right through to KS2. Weighing and measuring, sharing out cake mixture, setting the oven timer etc all aid in the understanding of number and help your child to make the connection between learning in school and applying in the real world.


Learning with Pearson logo

Last updated: over 3 years ago