Comparison/ Counting

  • Provide a numeral rich environment, e.g. in role-play areas, mud-kitchen recipes, numbers on trikes and toilet doors.
  • Provide numerals that children can pick up and use within all aspects of their play.
  • Provide resources indoors and outside for children to explore and talk about higher numbers. 
  • Model using objects to illustrate counting songs, rhymes and number stories, sometimes using pictures and numerals, to enable children to use those resources independently.
  • Play with either dot or numeral dice. Discuss that six on the dice is worth more than four.
  • Provide a variety of mathematical picture books and share them as part of “warm and cuddly” maths times.
  • Explore different arrangements of the same number, e.g. partitioning five in different ways; hiding one group and “guessing” the hidden number.


  • Model counting items rhythmically, including objects into a container, claps or drumbeats.
  • Support children to choose how to arrange collections of two, three and four objects in different ways.
  • Provide spaces to display children’s ongoing mathematical thinking, e.g. their own ways of representing their thinking, and scribing children’s words.

Spatial Awareness

  • Provide spaces to display children’s ongoing mathematical thinking, e.g. their own ways of representing their thinking and scribing children’s words.
  • Provide opportunities for children to explore position themselves inside, behind, on top and so on.
  • Provide picture books to stimulate discussion about position and direction.
  • Create trails and treasure hunts with the children.
  • Organise the indoor and outdoor environment with outlines for objects or specific places for children to tidy up items by fitting them into the designated space.


  • Provide differently shaped resources to handle, carry, move and explore.
  • Provide large and small blocks and boxes for construction both indoors and outdoors.


  • Provide a range of items for free exploration of patterning indoors and outdoors including natural materials, pattern blocks, loose parts, mats, trays and strips.
  • Encourage children to join in with body patterns or repeating sections of songs.
  • Pause to encourage prediction when enjoying stories and rhymes with repeating elements, sometimes using props.
  • Emphasise the repeating pattern when turn taking.
  • Provide patterned resources including those representing a range of cultures, such as clothing, fabrics or wrapping paper.


  • Provide problem-solving opportunities indoors and outdoors for comparing length, weight and capacity, e.g. Which is the best bottle so we’ll have enough drink for everyone at the picnic?
  • Ask children to predict What happens next? using visual timetables, books and stories.
  • Provide items that can be ordered by size, such as plates and clothes in role play.