In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Mathematics is broken down into two aspects:
+ Shape, Space and Measures
Mathematics is all about understanding and using shape, space, measures and numbers to solve everyday problems like how much sticky tape to use to wrap a parcel or the number of red balloons that would need to be bought so that there were enough for all the children attending a party. Helping children to enjoy Mathematics is probably one of the most important things that adults can do so that children realise that maths is a way of finding things out and solving problems.
When something has real meaning for a child they will learn about it – so even two year olds will recognise the number 2 after looking at and talking about their birthday cards. Children often say ‘that’s my number’ when they see numbers two, three, four or five – because their age (which they are referring to) is special for them. Similarly when a child recognises they have the same number of raisins as another child they are beginning to apply their knowledge of quantity. Experiences and activities that focus on the two aspects of Mathematics in the Revised EYFS should always be enjoyable if young children are to become the mathematicians of tomorrow – because nobody wants ‘more’ if it isn’t enjoyable!