Mathematical Development

 Ideas that you might like to use at home:



  • Make a train shed with numbers on so that I can match my trains into the shed with the same number on.
  • Put numbers on a skittles game made from plastic bottles. Ask me what number was on the bottle I knocked down.
  • Counting the steps up the stairs
  • A number hunt on the way to nursery
  • Setting the table, how many people, how many knives, folks etc

Shape, Space and Measure

  • Sorting the washing by size, colour etc.
  • Can you cut your toast into squares, triangles? 
  • Let me build from cardboard boxes or wooden bricks. Use words like “long” or “tall” to describe my model.
  • Go on a shape walk inside or outside to find things which are the same like “circles” or “spheres”.

What to Expect, When? (30-50 months in age)



  • I can use some number names and words like “more than” and “fewer than”, when I am playing.
  • I can say numbers in order from 1 to 10.
  • I know that numbers tell me how many things there are altogether, like 8 biscuits on a plate.
  • I use my fingers, pictures or marks to show you how many things there are.
  • Sometimes I can match a numeral to the right number of things, like “3” to three balls.
  • I am interested in numbers and I talk about them and ask you questions.
  • I know when there are the same number of things, like 2 cakes, one for you and one for me.
  • I show I am interested in playing with numbers when I share things out in different ways, like putting my 10 farm animals in 2 fields and then in 3 fields and I am beginning to know there are still 10 animals.
  • I talk about the numbers I see when we are outdoors.
  • I am interested in making marks and calling them numbers.
  • I know that I can count claps and jumps as well as things like apples and buses and dinosaurs.

Shape, Space and Measure

  • I like lining up shapes and fitting shapes and different things into boxes.
  • I see shapes when we are outdoors, like square windows and triangle and circle shapes in road signs.
  • I can use words like “under”, and “next to” to describe where things are.
  • I choose to play with different sorts of building sets and talk about what I am making.
  • When I am doing puzzles, I look at the missing shapes to see what could fit.
  • I am beginning to use words like “round” and “straight” when I talk about the shapes I see.

To Find Out What to Expect from 40 to 60 Months in Age CLICK HERE

Maths Songs


Ten in the Bed

There were ten in the bed,
And the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over’.
So they all rolled over,
And one fell out,

There were nine in the bed…
There was one in the bed,
And the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over’.
So he rolled over,
And he fell out.

There were none in the bed,
So no one said,
Roll over, Roll over.

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out one day over the hills and far away, Mother duck she said quack, quack, quack but only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks went out one day over the hills and far away…

Lets Do it Again

Number one, touch your tongue.

Number two, touch your shoe

Number three, touch your knee

Number four, touch the floor.

Number five, do the jive

Number six, pick up sticks.

Number seven, point to heaven.

Number eight, close the gate.

Number nine, touch your spine.

Free Printable Resources Online

  • Google/search: free numicon resources
  • Follow the link to Oxford University press website
  • Click on ‘download free resources’ further down the page.