Minibeast counting rhyme
The woodlouse counting rhyme
These ideas will help your child to develop their confidence in counting and in recognising and using numbers. They will also help your child to explore shape, patterns and measurements in real-life contexts.
Things to try with your child:
1. Talk together
Talk with your child about maths to build their confidence and help them see how maths is used in everyday life. Try following a recipe together, talking about the numbers in the recipe and counting ingredients: ‘We need 2 scoops of flour. We need 1 cherry for each cake.' Set the table together, and ask: ‘Who will be eating dinner today? How many forks do we need?’
Want a recipe to try? Have a look on our 'Great Melyn Bake Off' section!
2. Play together
Play with shapes and numbers hidden in messy play, or hide items to count out together. Play around with magnetic numbers to help your child’s number recognition. Play simplified board games like Snakes and Ladders, which are also great for practising counting forwards and backwards. See 'Messy Play' for ideas.
3. Explore shape
Point out different shapes around you whenever possible. Ask your child how many objects in the kitchen are square or triangular, and look for shapes in the world around you such as in the Garden. Choose a 'Shape of the Week' and then see how many times you can spot this shape around you. Play 'Shape Tickle' - Draw shapes on your child's back and then show them the shape physically at the end. Use building blocks or construction kits to make shapes.
4. Spot patterns
Look for repeating patterns on curtains, wallpaper, or clothing.
Start patterns with blocks, beads, playing cards or toys and encourage your child to build on the pattern to make it longer.
Look for patterns in time together (e.g. seasons, months or daily routines) and talk about what you notice: 'We always go to the supermarket on a Monday. We go swimming on a Tuesday.'
Listen for patterns in songs and clap or dance the rhythm.
5. Practise forming numbers
Help your child to learn the numbers by exploring their shapes. Have fun forming numbers in sand with a stick. Make numbers out of modelling clay/playdough. Write numbers for your child to copy. Hold your hand over theirs as they write the number so they can feel how to write it. Try holding their finger and forming the number in the air, you could also do this while dancing to music!
6. Practise position words
Practise position words with your child by having a treasure hunt. Follow clues like ‘over the bench’, ‘under the tree’, ‘next to the bush’. Draw a map to show the route you took.