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Learning numeracy at home

Sum on blackboard
All around us are a wealth of mathematical problems just waiting to be solved. Here’s how to help your child extend their numeracy skills at home.

National curriculum numeracy provides the foundations upon which your child's mathematical knowledge will be based. However, the importance of putting these skills into practice in the everyday world shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, learning through concrete examples helps consolidate classroom learning by providing more memorable experiences of numeracy for children to draw from. It also shows them the value of the skills they’re learning.

Try these activities to boost your child’s numeracy skills:


Resources needed: old magazines and scissors

Cut out a picture of something that’s symmetrical from a magazine. Fold it along the line of symmetry. Talk to your child about why it is symmetrical. Get your child to explore your home for symmetrical designs. Look at wallpaper, floor tiles, pictures, bedspreads and appliances. How many can they find? For older children, help them point out shapes that have more than one line of symmetry.


Resources needed: jug, 4 cups, water

Fill the jug with water. Pour different amounts of water into each cup: 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 and a completely full cup. Sit them in front of your child and talk about how they relate to each other. Questions to ask include: Which has the most and least amount of water? Can you put them in order? What would happen if you were to add, say, the ¼ cup to 1/2 cup? You can also teach fractions with apples, cakes or pizza sliced equally into four or more.

Money skills

Resources you need: a variety of coins, paper and a pencil

You need a few of each coin (such as 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1). Ask your child to tell you how many coins you have. Can they put them in order of greater and smaller size? Ask your child to tell you which coin has the highest number on it and which the least? Can she put them in order of greater and smaller numbers? Why is the 2p less than the 5p?

Get older children to add up the total amount and write it down in the correct format, for example, ‘£3.45’. Take away some of the coins and ask them to add it up again. How much does it come to? How much is missing? If they needed to buy something that cost 75p how much would they have left? 

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