How to introduce maths to your children through play...

How to introduce maths to your children through play...

How to introduce maths to your children through play...

How to introduce maths to your children through play...

The topic of maths tends to be thought of as quite a formal topic, and for many parents it can feel daunting if this was not a preferred subject at school! But we use maths all the time in our everyday life; stacking the dishwasher, separating washing, telling the time etc, and we begin using mathematical language with young children very early on in their life, ‘’would you like more milk?’’, ‘’you had a long nap today’’, ‘’all gone!’’. In terms of the early years curriculum, mathematics is known as one of the specific areas of learning which is taught from the age of three, but there are plenty of things you can be doing to introduce this topic to your children before the age of three.

Why introduce maths to children?

Not only is maths a useful topic for children to learn about for more formal learning, it actually helps children make sense of the world around them. There are many different aspects of maths, and fun ways you can introduce these aspects to your children through play. Let’s explore some of these in this blog…

How do I teach my child about size?

When it comes to teaching size, the more similar attributes something has, the easier it is for a child to grasp this concept, as it allows them to only focus on the change in size. There is so much inspiration within nature to draw upon when teaching mathematical concepts, talking about a small and large tree or leaf, is a great way to highlight the differences in size, for example.

Russian Dolls are a completely unique concept to learn about size, one which children are fascinated by. Our Rosa & Bo ‘Nesting Babies’ are inspired by Russian Dolls, and are the first Russian Doll inspired toy that is safe for children. These dolls allow you to introduce sizes small, medium and large to your children. Each doll has similar physical attributes, with only the colours differing, (apart from Bo Bunny!) allowing your child to clearly see the difference in size, and also solve the challenge of which order the Nesting Babies go in order to be put back together.


How do I teach my child about capacity?

Size and capacity go hand in hand, and from a very early age children are fascinated by filling and emptying containers. There is so much value to be had in allowing your children to explore this kind of play- and better yet this can mostly be done in the garden or the bath which minimises clearing up time for you, and maximises play time for them! You don’t need any special resources to teach your children about capacity, you will find many everyday objects around your home.

Here are some of my top around the house resources for teaching capacity:

  • Watering can
  • Food storage containers
  • Measuring cups/beakers
  • Ice cube trays

By teaching your children the language that is associated with capacity, they will be able to use this language in context and expand on their learning even more. Here are some terms to think about introducing during play.

Key terms for teaching capacity:

  • Full
  • Empty
  • Half full
  • Half empty
  • More

These siblings featured over on our Instagram page are having a brilliant time playing together and learning about capacity with our Nesting Babies:



How do I teach my children mathematical language?

You will almost certainly already be doing this already without even realising as there is so much mathematical language built into our language. For example, saying ‘’all gone’’, ‘’more’’, ‘’finished’’, this kind of language helps children to realise order and concepts. Because your child will likely already have some knowledge of this kind of language, it’s something you can begin to extend from a very early age.

Understanding spatial relationships is something children grasp very early on, you will know this if your child has ever been through a phase of separation anxiety, where they demonstrate their awareness of you not being there quite clearly- even if you are just popping to the loo!

This positional language in particular is really easy to introduce through everyday conversation and play, and great for your child’s development:

  • ‘’You are sitting next to Daddy’’
  • ‘’Let’s climb through the tunnel’’
  • ‘’I think they are hiding behind that tree!’’

Our Top & Tails Matching Cards game is a fun and natural way to have conversations including this kind of language with your children:

  • ‘’That’s the tail of the fox, what goes on top?’’
  • ‘’Who is next to Bo Bunny?’’
  • ‘’That card was behind one of the others’’

Once you become aware of these concepts, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to add in and how much your child already knows. By introducing this language through play with an adult, children will then understand how to use this language in context within their independent play or with other children. If you’d like to know more about introducing mathematical concepts to your little one, check out this link from Cbeebies with lots of interactive resources.

This blog has been written by our Resident Play Expert here at Rosa & Bo, Sarah Doman. Sarah is a Hypnobirth and Early Years Expert. She helps families from pregnancy to children of school age to give birth and parent with confidence. You can find her on social media @sarahldoman

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