The Early Learning Goal for Number at the end of the Reception year:

Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Ideas for helping with Early Number

Recognising Numbers

Choose a number for the week, e.x. 2. Encourage your child to look out for this number all the time. Can your child see the number 2 anywhere? At home - in the kitchen or on pages in a book in the street - on doors, on car number plates or on buses while out shopping - on the shop till, on shelves, in shop windows

Patterns and Games with numbers

Find two apples, toys, spoons, straws, sweets, etc. Make patterns, such as two knives, two forks, two spoons, two knives, two forks, two spoons… Practise writing the number 2.


Try starting at 5 and count on from there to 11. Start at 9 and count back from there to zero.  Choose a different starting number each time. Count using numbers to 10, 20 and then beyond to 100.


The Early Learning Goal for Shape, Space & Measure at the end of the Reception year:

Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Ideas for helping with Early Shape, Space and Measure

While you have all the items out of the cupboard— what shapes can you find? Open up the packets—can you see a square and rectangle? What about other shapes? Count the corners and sides—remember the names of the shapes and the number of corners and sides they have!    

Ask your child to help you sort a food cupboard out, putting heavier items on the lower shelf and lighter items on an upper shelf. What about height—can you also sort the items according to height? Are the heaviest items always the tallest?

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