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Early Years Calendar: National Numeracy Day

19th May 2021

National Numeracy Day is an annual event held to improve numeracy skills in all people, adults and children alike. Numbers are part of day-to-day life, and no age is too young to start learning about maths.

National Numeracy Day is a great excuse to celebrate children of all ages exploring numbers and developing their mathematical skills!

When introducing numeracy, it is important to show appreciation for the efforts any child makes, and to not just acknowledge their successes. A child may attempt to complete a simple sum but get the incorrect answer; the result is not always what matters, instead it is their willingness to have a go that counts.

There are many ways to spark children’s interest in numbers. Whether they are helping to count out money while shopping, recognising numbers in recipes while cooking, or pointing out which number bus to get on, any involvement deepens their understanding.

Here are some ideas of numerical activities to do with different ages:

Baby’s feet
Photographer: Bonnie Kittle | Source: Unsplash

Numbers and Babies:

Babies are of course unable to vocalise their knowledge, so we must do the talking. At this early stage of development, they will absorb everything from their environment so singing and counting to them is a great place to start. Counting their fingers and toes exposes them to numbers to ten while engaging their senses of sight, sound and touch. A great place to start.

Pure Joy
Photographer: Patrick Fore | Source: Unsplash

Numbers and Toddlers:

Toddlers are just finding their feet and are always on the go, so counting physical movements is a brilliant and easy way to get them excited about numbers. Seeing how many claps, jumps, stomps, spins, waves and wiggles they can do helps to ignite a love of numbers while giving them some much needed physical exercise!

Kids hopscotch game in playground.
Photographer: Eric Tompkins | Source: Unsplash

Numbers and Pre-schoolers:

Most pre-schoolers will be able to identify some numerals, so developing an understanding of quantities is a good next step. Simply write out some numbers, one to ten is plenty, and place them on the floor or a table. Then ask them to identify a number and find the same amount of any item; they could count out five building bricks, four pencils, two books or seven leaves. A simple activity that can be done in any environment.

By school age some children might be able to count past fifty, others might not. It is not so much about how high a child can count; it is ensuring they have a solid understanding of numbers and what they consist of. It is better for a child to recognise all the ways to make up the number five than it is to count to one hundred. Celebrate National Numeracy Day to help children of all ages gain important numeracy skills that will last a lifetime.

Go to National Numeracy Day | National Numeracy for more information and ideas.