In Reception, your child will be introduced to numbers and counting, and will start to use basic mathematical language. An interest in maths and problem solving will be encouraged through maths games and fun activities.
Much of your child’s learning will come from exploring and talking about maths in the world around them and there are simple things you can do at home to support their development.
In Reception, your child will learn to:
- Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number
- Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5
- Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
- Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system
- Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity.
- Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.
How to help at home
Here are three simple but effective learning ideas that you can try with your child using everyday items at home.
1. Count everything!
One of the first number skills your child will learn is counting. Practising counting will help them will all sorts of number problems that they will encounter as they get older.
Try to get into the habit of counting when you are out and about. For example:
How many buses have we seen?
How many bugs are in the garden?
How many lamp posts are on the street?
For more games and activities to help your child with maths in the Early Years, take a look at our Fun learning ideas for four-year-olds.
2. Spot patterns
Look for repeating patterns on curtains, wallpaper, or clothing. Ask your child:
Can you see a pattern? Tell me about it. What will come next?
Start patterns with blocks, beads, playing cards, and toys. Encourage your child to build on the pattern to make it longer. You could also look for patterns in time together (for example, seasons, months, or daily routines) and talk about what you notice, or listen for patterns in songs and clap the rhythm.
3. Practise forming numerals
Help your child to learn the numerals by exploring their shapes. You could have fun forming numbers in sand with a stick, or making numbers out of modelling clay. Write numbers for your child to copy, and hold your hand over their hand to help direct them.
Try holding their finger and forming the number in the air. Once they can trace out the shape of numerals, see if they can write numbers on their own.