How to support your child with Maths.


Maths Tips for Nursery Children

When singing counting rhymes and songs, such as Five little ducks, act it out using your fingers or objects that your toddler can see and touch.

• Make the most of dressing, bedtime, shopping and other everyday activities to count stairs, buttons, cups, or anything else. Talk about lots, one more or less and how many.

• Help your toddler sort coins by shape or size, big and little, on to plates or into bags, purses or jars. • Play hide and seek games and talk about where you found them - in, on or under?

• Give your toddler different sized containers to fill and empty at bathtime.

• Point out shapes, patterns and numbers when you’re out shopping or at the park. Talk to your toddler about things being round, pointy, having corners, or being the same or different.

• Play skittles or hopscotch and give your toddler objects that are different weights to throw. Talk about how heavy or light they are, and how far or high they can throw them.


Maths tips for Reception Children

• Use junk, such as empty boxes and tubes to explore 3D shapes. Use large boxes that your child can get into.

• Make an obstacle course with your child and use words such as under, over and through.

 • Use a wheelbarrow or bag to move objects. Talk to your child about things being lighter or heavier than each other.

 • Read stories, like Goldilocks and the three bears and talk about size such as big, bigger and biggest.

• When you’re out encourage your child to look out for numbers, such as on cars, houses, buses and post boxes.

 • Play pretend games, such as at the cafe, shop or on the bus and use money or count things together.

• Play games such as hopscotch and What’s the time Mr Wolf?

• Begin to introduce adding and taking away, such as building sandcastles and knocking them down. • Sing counting songs and rhymes such as Ten green bottles and count it out on your fingers.


Maths Tips for Year 1 and 2 Children  

• Collect everyday items, like milk bottle tops, which your child can sort into colours or sizes and count.

• Let your child help to pay for things in shops when you’re paying with coins.

• Talk about time, such as “How long does it take to get to the park?”.

 • Let your child help you at home when you’re using numbers, such as measuring ingredients for cooking or measuring for DIY.

• Go on a shape hunt and point out all the shapes you see, such as square windows or round wheels. • Together, look at numbers on cars, houses, buses or road signs.

• Count how many things you see, such as lampposts.

• Play games that involve moving counters backwards and forwards while counting, such as snakes and ladders.

• Play card games where you have to match things, like snap.

• Play games such as skittles, where you keep score and count how many are knocked down.

 • Use estimates in everyday activities, such as asking “How many cakes will we need if Granny and Grandad come to tea?”.

 • Hide objects and use clues to help your child to find them, such as “It’s on top of the table, next to the remote control”.


10 Maths Tips for children in KS2


  1. Start with a positive mindset- Do you ever hear yourself saying “I’m really bad at maths”? It’s only small, but your children can pick up on negativity towards subjects and, unfortunately, this can be a real barrier to their learning. We advise parents to try using positive language around your children when talking about maths. You may not mean to be negative, but your children may take it to heart. Your positivity may well improve their maths attitude!
  2. Play maths games together- Many games use mathematical and logical skills that your children will need in later life - plus they’re fun! Games like jigsaw puzzles help children to develop logical & spatial awareness skills. Board games with dice develop children’s counting skills. Other games that may help develop your child’s maths skills are darts, scrabble, and chess. Get playing!
  3. Learn their maths methods- You can also support your child’s learning by getting to grips with the maths they learn, like the grid method and bar modelling. Sometimes parents try to help by teaching their children methods they learned in school. This can confuse children. Try instead to learn the method that your child uses by asking to see the school’s Calculation Policy (usually on the school website), speaking to their teacher, or Googling it. This ensures continuity between school and home learning for your child and genuinely improves their learning!
  4. Practise reading the time-As we move into digital, many children are growing up not reading analogue clocks. Make sure your child practises reading analogue clocks in everyday life, as this is part of the maths curriculum. It’s as simple as reading the clock you may walk past on the side of a building, otherwise how will they ever be able to read the iconic Big Ben?
  5. Use fractions in daily life- Fractions can be simple for you to practise with your child. Simple common fractions can be reinforced at home even if you’re not too confident with fractions. Stick to fractions you know such as ½ or ¼. See a window split into four coloured panels? Ask your child “what fraction of the window is coloured in blue?” You don’t have to use rounded shapes such as cakes and pizzas to practise fractions, just make sure the separate parts of the shape are all the same size.
  6. Times tables: Practice Practice Practice!-As everybody knows, it’s essential for children to learn their times tables in order to access harder maths questions. This is an easy thing for parents to practise with their children - sneak it in when they’re bored! Make car journeys go by faster, or distract them on the bus by asking times tables questions. Challenge them to say their times tables backwards if they get bored of reciting them.
  7. Involve them with problem solving-The KS2 maths curriculum requires pupils to be able to problem solve in maths. As parents, you can help your children practice these skills every day. You can ask your child to tell you which is the best deal at the supermarket or how much their pair of trousers are worth when there is a 30% sale on in a clothes store, or which internet provider has the best deal when you need to switch.
  8. Use open questions -Sometimes it’s just plain hard not to work out the correct answer for your child’s homework without simply giving it to them. Unfortunately, just giving children the answer to their homework means don’t learn to work the answer out for themselves. This means they’ll get stuck without you. Next time your child needs help with their homework, try asking prompting questions such as: “Why did you write that down?” “How did you get that answer?” “What method did you use?” This will help your child fully understand the maths methods they’re using and reinforce independent learning.
  9. Play to their love of technology- There’s no substitute for personal support with your child’s maths, but when you’re busy - or even just for a change - giving children short bursts of online practice can be really helpful. We’re spoiled for choice with maths apps on the market and most really engage children. There’s definitely no need to spend lots of money. Many are free or economically priced. If you want to know where to start, two of our favourites are Mr Thorne’s Maths and DoodleMaths. But there are plenty more!
  10. If they need a challenge… Maths can be very boring for children when they’re just repeatedly practising what they already know. If you find that your child needs to challenge themselves more, or gets bored easily. Explore websites such as NRICH (http:// or Transum (