• Talk with young children about lots, more, not many and not enough as they play.
  • Draw attention to contrasting differences and changes in amounts e.g. adding more bricks to a tower or eating things up.


  • Model counting things in everyday situations and routines.
  • Take opportunities to say number words in order with children as they play, e.g. 1,2,3 go!


  • Use number words in meaningful contexts, e.g. Here is your other mitten. Now we have two.

Spatial Awareness

  • Model thinking during tidy up routines to promote logic and reasoning about where things fit in or are kept.
  • Support children’s interest in body-sized spaces and provide commentary on the child going inside,  under, over, between and squeezing through,.
  • Look for opportunities to use spatial language during play activities.


  • Model thinking about the properties of shapes when selecting them to fit into spaces, e.g. Oh look, we need a round one.
  • When playing alongside children who are building, provide commentary about the shapes you are using.


  • Highlight different times of the day and talk about what comes next within the pattern of the day.
  • Leave a space for children to do the next action or word in familiar songs and stories with repeating elements.
  • Comment on what is the same and what is over and over again in patterns found in the environment.


  • Use the language of size and weight as children are involved in everyday play and routines.
  • Use the language of capacity as children explore water or sand to encourage them to think about when something is full, empty or holds more.
  • Emphasise the sequence within familiar activities or routines.