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Maths should be fun!!

Maths should be part of children’s everyday lives.

Maths should be about exploring the world around them!

Supporting Children by playing games

Children love to play Maths games especially if it involves quality time with an adult.


Games that you could play -

  • Snakes and Ladders
  • Dominoes
  • Children’s dart boards
  • Battleships (simple co-ordinates)
  • Chess
  • Let’s go shopping and lots, lots more.


Make up your own games with dice

  • Make your own track game
  • Throw two dice each. Who has the greatest total?
  • Start at 20 throw the dice. Who gets down to 0 first?

Be creative! Children love making up games.


The Use of Stories/Role Play

Set up a party for the toys

  • Make hats to fit the teddies. Use language to describe the size (biggest/smallest etc.)
  • Measure the heads using a tape measure make hats to fit the teddies together
  • Make a shopping list for the party – add prices. Add up the total amount spent
  • Make up problems - If 6 teddies are coming and they eat 2 sandwiches each. How many sandwiches do you need to make?
  • Make necklaces for the teddies to take home using beads to make repeating patterns.
  • Set the table. How many plates and cups will you need altogether?
  • Have cups of different sizes – Which cup will hold the most? Which will hold the least? Let them fill them up and experiment and have fun!


Children love to cook and cooking is great to help children to measure/ weigh/ count/ estimate and time.


  • Make some cakes together. Count out the cake cases. How many smarties will you need if you put 2 on each cake? Practice counting in 2s etc
  • Measure the liquids. Show them the marks on the jug. Can they read the numbers?
  • Set the timer for when the cakes are ready. Count the time down together
  • Count out spoonfuls of ingredients
  • Put prices on the ingredients. How much did it cost to make the cakes?
  • Sell the cakes to each other? Practice giving the right coins, extend to giving change
  • Help your child to scale a recipe up or down to feed the right amount of people.



  • Get your child to design their own football shirt by using a design made of 2D shapes.
  • Put numbers on the back of football shirts. Can they order the shirts from smallest to largest?
  • Choose 2 different shirt numbers. What is the total? What is the difference? Can they find 2 shirt numbers that total 11? etc.
  • Look at the football league tables. Who is at the top of the league? How many points have they got? How many more points have they got than the team at the bottom of the league?
  • Choose 2 teams. Look at the number of goals they have got. Who has scored the most goals?

  • If a ticket to a football match costs £6, how many tickets can I buy if I have £15?

The same sort of activities could be done for any sport or hobby.


  • Time one minute. What can they do in one minute? Can they put their shoes on? Jump up and down? Sing? etc
  • Look at clocks. Encourage them to start telling the time on clocks around the house. What time is bedtime? Teatime?

  • Estimate how long it will take them to get dressed. Get them to estimate. Time them. Did it take a longer or shorter time than they thought?
  • Have a calendar for your child to write on. What day is it? What do they do on Tuesdays? When is their birthday? How many days until they go on holiday counting down
  • Have a stop watch. Time each other to complete an obstacle course, a run around the garden. Who was the quickest? How long did it take?
  • Use a bus or train timetable. Ask your child to work out how long a journey between two places should take? Go on the journey. Do you arrive earlier or later than expected? How much earlier/later?



  • Set up a shop in your kitchen. Get food out of the cupboards and get your child to label it. Use real money to buy things encouraging your child to work out the total and change, write receipts
  • When visiting shops get the children to tell you how much things cost. Allow them to go and buy something themselves. Can they check their change?
  • Play guess the coin. Get your child to close their eyes and put a coin in their hands. Can they guess the coin?
  • Put coins of the same value in piles. Can they count them? Practice counting in 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s etc
  • Plan an outing during the holidays. Ask your child to think about what time you will need to set off and how much money you will need to take
  • Empty your purse/ wallet? Get the child to estimate how much is there? Count it together?



  • Hunt for right angles around your home. Can your child spot angles bigger or smaller than a right angle?
  • Choose some food items out of the cupboard. Try to put the objects in order of weight, by feel alone. Check by looking at the amounts on the packets
  • Make a model using boxes/containers of different shapes and sizes. Ask your child to describe their model
  • Practise measuring the lengths or heights of objects (in metres or cm). Help your child to use different rulers and tape measures correctly. Encourage them to estimate before measuring
  • Play ‘guess my shape’. You think of a shape. Your child asks questions to try to identify it but you can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (e.g. Does it have more than 4 corners? Does it have any curved sides?)

If you have any comments about this booklet or any ideas that you would like to share with us, please let us know.