• Involve children in voting, e.g. for books to read at story time, using linking cubes with children’s names on.
  • Discuss examples and display large numbers including hundreds, thousands and a million.


  • Jump with children along a number track, counting each jump or counting on.
  • Sing counting songs and count together forwards and backwards, sometimes starting from different numbers and in different step sizes. Discuss numbers coming before, after and between and stress patterns.
  • Plan opportunities to order mixed-up numerals.
  • When counting groups as part of routines, e.g. self-registration with ten-frames, dinner chart etc,. record the final total as a label for children to see.
  • Subitise with children, talking about how they see numbers of things made up in a variety of arrangements (e.g. recognising odd and even numbers).
  • Pose everyday estimation problems and establish mental estimation benchmarks, e.g. more or less than 10.
  • Set up an estimation station where everyone records guesses; later count and order the guesses.
  • Build counting and ways of representing numbers into everyday routines.
  • Provide numeral cards for children to order on a washing line.
  • Play subitising games which involve quickly revealing and hiding numbers of objects, perhaps showing numeral cards and fingers.
  • Drop marbles into a tin and ask the children to listen (without looking) to count how many there are.
  • Provide opportunities for children to match a number of objects to the numeral, including zero, and display number lines to 100 at child height.
  • Provide dice, board and card games, sometimes involving older children, families and members of the local community.
  • Provide resources to make “staircase” patterns which show that the next counting number includes the previous number plus one.
  • Display children’s mathematical representations, including explanations of the children’s meaning making.

Spatial Awareness

  • Play barrier games (where players have an identical set of objects which are hidden from each other; one player makes an arrangement of objects and gives instructions to the other to try to make the same arrangement).
  • Plan opportunities for children to describe and recall familiar routes.
  • Engage families in taking photos of familiar things from different viewpoints


  • Provide resources for shape play including unit blocks, pattern blocks, mosaic tiles and jigsaw puzzles with different levels of challenge.
  • Teach strategies for solving shape and jigsaw puzzles, describing shape properties and modelling the mathematical vocabulary such as straight, corner, edges.
  • Play games focussing on the properties of shapes, such as hiding and partially revealing a shape, asking children to say what different shapes it could be or not, and why.


  • Provide opportunities for printing patterns using a variety of objects.
  • Using photos, challenge children to copy and continue patterns.
  • Invite children to create a pattern with the same structure using different objects (e.g. instead of a red/blue/blue pattern, create a sheep/cow/cow pattern).


  • Have areas where children can explore the properties of objects, compare lengths, weigh and measure.
  • Provide objects in a range of contexts varying in length, capacity or weight, including tall thin, short fat, large light and small heavy things.
  • Provide pictorial sequences for instructions.
  • Model using measuring tools including height charts, rulers, tape-measures, scales and timers.
  • Sing songs about the days of the week and months of the year, referring to a calendar. Countdown to events.