Simple Maths Provocations

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Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

As you might have seen, we’ve been a bit maths crazy here lately! So I thought I’d show you some of the ways I’ve been setting out materials for the girls to encourage some maths exploration. They are all simple and for most you could use whatever you have at home, or even what you can find outside!

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Often, just presenting the materials differently provokes new exploration and ideas. These materials are always available on the maths shelf (cuisenaire rods, wooden numbers, buttons, and dice) and just by setting them out together, new play and learning emerges.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Miss 5 used the above materials for ordering numbers, connecting numerals and quantities, subitising, sorting and classifying, making patterns, and comparing length and circumference and ordering accordingly.

Counting

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

 Wooden numbers and Spielgaben sticks.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Miss 3 used the sticks to count and represent each number.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Counting and sorting transparent discs on the light table.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

You can even do something as simple as leaving out a board game. Games like Snakes and Ladders are great for practicing counting!

Ordering and Quantifying

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is hereThe girls enjoy these free printable number cards and it’s always a team effort with my 3 year old ordering the dots and numerals and my 5 year old matching up the words.

Patterns

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Spielgaben shapes and a mirror for making patterns and pictures.

I find that it doesn’t take much to get my kids interested in patterns. They naturally explore patterns through their play all the time, particularly with loose parts.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

A simple invitation to explore growing patterns using Spielgaben dots.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Shapes

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

An invitation to draw and paint circles using watercolours, a mathematical compass, Spielgaben circles, and pencils.

Building

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

I’ve talked about block play before. Block play is fabulous for hands on understanding of mathematical concepts. And they’re learning it all through play! I provide many opportunities for block and loose parts play and it’s easy to see all the fabulous things they are learning. Just set out a couple of baskets of blocks and that’s it!

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Miss 5 is very big on symmetry.

Measuring

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

Measurement provocation using tape measure, ruler, cuisenaire rods, Spielgaben sticks, lengths of wool, paper and pencil.

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

The girls measured the materials on the table and other things around the room, and Miss 5 even recorded her measurements.

Weighing

Simple Maths Provocations | Happiness is here

We have some lovely scales on the maths shelf, and most people have kitchen scales in their house. Pair them with some blocks and other objects to encourage weighing and comparing objects based on weight.

There are so many ways to encourage a love of maths, it’s everywhere! Use whatever you have, leave some new or old materials out for them to find and play with. You could collect sticks and rocks and count them, take a calculator along to the shops, let your child handle the money when you’re paying for your groceries, or do some cooking and let your child measure all the ingredients!

What’s your favourite way to include maths in your day?

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11 thoughts on “Simple Maths Provocations

  1. Love your post. Always gives me such great ideas… The new Spielgaben is a dream… WE have version 2.0 and have recently ordered the expansion kit with all the 3D stuff and teh peg board. Should ship any day now, so exciting!

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