My Reception DS needs help with numbers

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Joined: 24/11/2011 - 13:32
Posts: 8
My Reception DS needs help with numbers
You & your kids 

My DS (4 and a half)  started Reception in Sept, has made lots of friends and seems to be very happy.  His TA came to find me the other day to tell me that he's struggling to recognise numbers and that it would be good if I did some more work with him on this at home.   I'm really glad that she told me, as whilst I've been enthusiastically reading with him since he was tiny, I now realise that I've hardly done anything with him involving numbers, apart from the odd rendition of '12345, Once I caught a fish alive'!  
  We haven't been given any 'homework' as such, so I'm looking for some ideas for games or activities I can do with him.  I've downloaded the lovely resources on this site (thank you School Run!) but would welcome any other suggestions.  Many thanks.


Ummbintaini's picture
Joined: 01/12/2009 - 18:19
Posts: 1152

One thing I did with my ED, was print big numbers on paper, to make a "telephone keypad", stuck it on the door and pretended to phone people.  This involves pointing at numbers as you say them, so it really helps them to make the connection.

IMO being able to do "true counting" is important too, i.e. counting actual objects, can be anything, but things where you move objects as you count them rather than just pointing at things (the connection between numbers and objects is clearer if you count them e.g. into little piles or on an abacus).  So count everything and anything, and for number recognition, after counting write the number down or find it on the "phone keypad" you've already stuck on the door - you can make this into a game, i.e. count the objects then find the number.

counting spots on dice and dominoes and playing games like snakes and ladders, where you count the spots on a dice (or you can get one with numbers written on them) and then move the counter that many spaces are good for getting an all round understanding of number.   This can help with addition too.

Leeds's picture
Joined: 26/11/2009 - 09:37
Posts: 8585

Ummbintaini has a great suggestion with playing simple board games with your child, which involve recognising the number on the dice and counting out that many spaces on the board.  There are loads of board games like this; snakes and ladders has been mentioned, but also things like ludo and frustration to add a bit of variety!

When you are out walking, ask him what the registration number of a particular car is.  Or the number on the house on the corner etc.

Get him to help you cook something simple, and ask him to look at a recipe book and tell you how many spoons of whatever you need.  Then get him to add that many to the mix.

Play "shop" with him, and buy two packets of biscuits, three tins of soup etc and get him to give you that. If you don't have a pretend shop, use the ingrediants in your cupboard.  Make price tags for them eg 10p, 15p etc and ask him how much each item is.

Also have a look at Early Learning Centre games as they usually have a huge selection of stuff aimed at number recognition.

Daedalus's picture
Joined: 26/11/2009 - 09:39
Posts: 3719

Good suggestions above.

Hold his hand and tell him you're going to squeeze it a number of times and he has to tell you how many. Then he gets to squeeze your hand and you tell him how many times.

For counting down - sing ten green bootles, Alice the camel or something similar, or just a rocket blasting off.

For odds and evens (okay, maybe a little advanced) you say one number and he says the next, ie:
You: One
DS: Two
You: Three
DS: Four
You: Five
Then change who starts.

And, of course, have fun!

Elena Dalrymple
Joined: 27/05/2011 - 14:57
Posts: 1903

A few more resources on the site, which you might find useful:

Literacy and numeracy in the Foundation stage

Teachers' tricks for KS1 maths

Great learning toys for EYFS

What your child learns in the Foundation Stage

Lots of product suggestions and practical tips. We also have a piece of subscriber content which goes into detail about Reception maths, and we're due to launch a new subscriber pack called Cool maths games for kids, which has 20 different board games to print off, next week.

Let us know how you get on!


ElectronBlue's picture
Joined: 27/07/2011 - 10:11
Posts: 13374

Sounds like you came at just the right time Vanessa!

Welcome to the site

Christiesgal's picture
Joined: 29/07/2011 - 13:46
Posts: 11233

Hello Vanessa, welcome from me too!  Hope those ideas will help.:D

ursh x

Joined: 05/06/2011 - 13:39
Posts: 6

Make some "snap cards" with the numbers on - instead of saying snap when you get a pair - you have to say the number.

Corris's picture
Joined: 25/07/2011 - 14:18
Posts: 8443

Nice idea junie - thanks!

OliversArmy's picture
Joined: 26/11/2009 - 13:45
Posts: 12082

We found playing board games with Olly helped no end with his counting. Snakes and Ladders is great, and we play with two dice, so that he has to add both numbers up (a sly way of getting him counting, I admit!). And I don't know about anyone else's children but we have a cd of times tables songs that we bought, the repetition makes you want to bang your own head against a wall but it really does help them learn.

Joined: 24/11/2011 - 13:32
Posts: 8

Wow- thank you all so much for your suggestions  Some really lovely ideas here  I especially liked the squeezing hands game  I adapted it this afternoon on the way home from school  DS was riding on the buggy board, so I couldn't hold his hand, but I tapped him on the head instead and got him to tell me the number of taps!  This is a great site and I have a feeling I'll be using it a lot in the future  Cheers all