• NRICH is a website based at the University of Cambridge with a section specifically focused on the 3 to 5 age range to support you in developing the initial building blocks for mathematical thinking, reasoning and problem solving with your children. Lots of FREE activities and articles to inspire.
  • National Numeracy is an independent charity aiming to raise levels of numeracy among adults and children and to promote the importance of everyday maths skills. Excellent resources and useful links to other sites full of advice on numeracy learning, activity ideas and games for children and families via the family maths toolkit
  • The Foundation Years have a series of free ‘Top 10’ lists of mathematical resources available which include practitioner materials, picture books, number rhymes and games
  • Lively and accessible resources for families to support children’s mathematical learning are available from cbeebies
  • Further ideas and advice for families is available from Oxford Owl
  • The DfE Archive of National Strategy materials hosts the useful Mathematical Vocabulary book
  • Maths through stories based at the University of Reading has an excellent collection of recommended stories to support with explore mathematical concepts with children.
  • The Erikson Institute Early Math Collective is a US – based site with a wealth of FREE ideas for practitioners and families. See in particular the Big Ideas pages and the Bulletin Board.



  • A report by the Fair Education Alliance includes useful case studies of effective mathematical teaching in early years settings, with a focus on supporting disadvantaged children
  • A thought-provoking article on ‘Open Mathematics’, published by Community Playthings
  • When leaves, seeds and cones are available, try this autumnal maths activity from Science Sparks.
  • Extend mathematical learning opportunities by inviting children to create their own maths games from Inspired by Play.
  • Download FREE resources from a research project at Kingston University (requires specific registration).
  • See this selection of great ideas for weather-related science, often with a mathematical component from Science Sparks.

Shape, space and measure

  • Practical and hands-on ways to extend children’s spatial awareness from Inspired by Play.
  • Some festive maths ideas using Christmas cards from Nurture Store.
  • If you’re keen to extend children’s mathematical vocabulary, these FREE resources might be helpful from Teachwire.
  • Messy Maths: This book explores and explains in detail how to develop mathematical learning outside by Juliet Robertson.
  • A reminder of the potential of block play for developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning in this useful article from the Community Playthings site about the development of spatial awareness using blocks.

Guidance by the Early Years Team in Brighton and Hove suggests ways to develop this area of learning:

Mathematics (PDF530KB)