Day Plan – Making Maths Simple

23rd March 2020

Not every parent wants to hear “Mummy, I think we should be doing some serious maths by now. At a desk.” Today’s plan hopes to help people worried about supporting young children with maths at home – it’s a lot easier (and more fun) than it looks.

The day:


Develop pencil control with animal dot to dot sheets (possible log-in required but free).


To develop understanding of the sounds words start with, we’ll play a game of “I Spy”. If you don’t know it, here’s a simple guide. For children who do not know their sounds yet, you can try “I spy with my little eye something red” or “I spy with my little eye something that you wear” – it’s still great for developing language and communication.


Numberblocks is one of the best education programmes out there and I use it to explain new maths concepts all the time. Today, we’re going to focus on a key skill and watch the episode ‘How to Count‘.

Talk about the episode and what you noticed. talk about the three rules of counting:

  • You have to say the numbers in the right order.
  • You have to give each thing a number name.
  • The last number you say is how many there are.

Now send them on a number dash. Ask them to bring you 5 (or 10 or 20 or whatever number they can manage) things. When they bring them to you, count them together. Feel free to make plenty of mistakes, like skipping an object when you count them or muddling up your numbers – they will love to correct you.


Don’t forget to count out the pieces and talk about sharing amounts.

Sing along to Pink Fong’s Wash Your Hands Song.


Read the storybook version of Ten in The Bed. We can act it out with our own soft toys and enjoy chucking them off the sofa, too.


The children can choose what they want to do – we will talk about it first and I can help set it up in the hope they will play independently for a bit.

If they need ideas, we’ll be doing dough disco tomorrow so they can make play dough themselves with flour, water, salt and oil.

If they want more maths, I could send them on a number hunt in the house or take them on a number-spotting walk. What numerals can we see (on books, food packets, cars, doors etc).


There are so many opportunities for maths at meal time. Ask children you count out six knives and six forks. If they’re good at counting, see if they can work out how many pieces of cutlery there are all together. If they have adding down, give them a word problem: “There are three people and you each need 2 pieces of cutlery, how many is that altogether?” Who has more peas? can they make a square with chips?


Audible’s currently-free audiobook range includes a collection of songs and rhymes for counting.


They choose what they want but I’m asking them to be independent this afternoon so that I can work.

I can be hands-off with their maths practice if they want to play the Flying Moles of Mischief Game on CBeebies. Counting to 100 and moving along with Jack Hartman’s Count and Keep Fit should keep them busy for a bit, too.

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