8 Fun Ways to Get Your Child Engaged with Numeracy
Getting your child excited about maths can start early on, by making numbers fun! Here are 8 activities to help you easily encourage your little learners to engage with numeracy:
1. Sensory number making
If you thought helping your children learn their numbers meant having to sit down with a workbook, think again! Little brains learn best through hands-on exploration and play – which makes sensory activities brilliant for memorable number games. Set up a tray of shaving foam, bubbles, sand, jelly… (anything messy) and have your children practice writing numbers on the surface with their fingers or write numbers on textured paper (like sandpaper) and have them trace their fingers over the top.
A game of bingo is a really easy way to help children with number recognition. Choose a number board which suits your child’s age, we have some simple Bingo Card printables here.
3. Numicon play
Help your child learn to visualise numbers with Numicon. Often used in schools, Numicon is a plastic teaching resource which can be played with in lots of different ways to boost numeracy understanding. Numicon with playdough is a favourite for at-home learning, along with our Numicon printables which can either be used with the Numicon pieces themselves or on their own.
4. Try a theme
Does your child have an obsession with dinosaurs? Or love playing pirates? Why not work some numeracy fun into their favourite theme of the moment. Print out themed number games or think about how you can ask them questions to consider the numeracy already involved in their play. For example, how many legs does that dinosaur have? How much treasure is in the chest? What would happen if you had double the amount of animals?
5. Scavenger hunt number line
To kids, there’s something irresistible about hunting for things around the house or garden. Try hiding numbers around and have them run to find them, before lining them up in the right order. To make it trickier you can add in a timed factor so they have to beat the clock!
6. Jumping maths
Helping your kids get moving as they learn is a brilliant way to make numeracy fun! Try printing out our number flash cards, laying them on the floor then having your child jump on the numbers you call out. To make it harder for older children, have them find the answer to a sum or ask them to stand on even/odd numbers.
7. Play shops
Role play is another fun way to engage your child with numbers without them even realising. Create a shop or cafe, labelling items with prices and using pretend money (we have this print out). Don’t worry too much about your preschooler understanding how to make the right amounts, simply let them play and enjoy making their own numerical decisions. Who wouldn’t want to buy a £5000 banana?
8. Connect as you count
Little kids love nothing more than our full attention! Which makes any 1-1 games a good way to increase their engagement as you help them learn. There are lots of fun ways to count together. Play catch and see if you can reach 10/20/100 etc without dropping the ball, or catch as you count up in 2/5/10. Play hide and seek and have your child count. Take a walk together and spot numbers in your environment. Or take it in turns to write each other sums or make number lines with fill-in-the-gaps.