When your little one attends pre-school or nursery, they will work on several key areas of development, including Numeracy. This will include: number recognition, counting, number bonds, simple sums and one to one correspondence. All the bits that I use in these activities can be bought via my Amazon Shop. Read on for some free kids learning games!
Number Recognition - the ability to recognise a numeral is a really important skill. Start with numbers 1-5, then gradually work up to 10. Numbers 11-20 will be taught in Reception Class. Once your child has a few numbers memorised why not play this egg-smash game? Wash out and save your eggshells when cooking, when you have the same amount of shells as you do known numbers, write the numbers on. Ask you child to identify number 2, for example, if they get it correct, they can smash the shell! Such a fun activity!
Bookish Play - a fancy way of saying that you are using books to reinforce a concept. Do you have any number books? Do you also have any foam bath numbers? If not, write and cut out numbers on paper. Task your child to match the numeral on the page with the foam or paper number. Your child may be able to do this before recognising numbers, as it is a shape match activity.
One-to-one correspondence - this means understanding that a number corresponds to an amount. In the picture above I painted a paper plate orange, drew on a tiger face and cut out some stripes from black card. Ask your child "how many stripes shall this tiger have?" then count the stripes out together as you place them on the plate. Once you have repeated this process (remember children thrive on repetition!) you can glue the stripes down and proudly display your work of art!
Creating numerals - being able to recreate a numeral is a skill taught in Reception Class, I suggest beginning not with a pencil and paper, but with playdough, building blocks like Lego or Duplo, or pipe cleaners. These will allow your child's hands to learn the shape and flow of the number, putting them in good stead for picking up a pencil, when the time comes.
Subitising - this is the ability to take a representation of a number, for example dots on a dice, and know without counting, how many there are. The picture above shows a game that I set up for my two oldest boys, aged 6 and 4 years old. On the left was the 4yr old, he was tasked with rolling a dice, and dabbing out the number on his card that matched the number of dots on the dice. To differentiate for my 6yr old I gave him two dice, asked him to add them together and dab out the totals. We set a timer to see if they could complete their card within a minute. They both loved it!
Build a Gruffalo - this is a good hands-on activity to practice on to one correspondence and you can create any character, alien or monster that you like!