Routines such as bath time, dressing and washing the dishes are times when young children learn about the concepts of emopty and full, heavy and light, big and small etc.
Everyday routines offer lots of opportunities for early number language, ideas include:
- Dressing - lots of number language here, colours and size, order - first, next, ten fingers, ten toes, who's got the biggest feet etc.
- Bath time - containers which encourage filling and pouring, talking about things that are empty and full, heavy and light, play with bubbles in the bath - big and small.
- Bed time - share a story such as Goldilocks and the three bears, the Hungry caterpillar. Read the story 'Ten in the bed'. If you haven't got this story visit the library, it's free to join! Ten in the bed includes counting, ordering, counting back, how many are left in the bed? You could role play the story with a selection of your child's cuddly toys and a blanket.
- Try a teddy bear's picnic - use teddies, different sized cups, plates and bowls for a picnic on the floor with a blanket. You can talk about the colours, size and shape and use them for a matching game too as well as talking about the picnic food which will have lots of opportunities for number language.#
- Make sandwiches and talk about the shape of them. Are they sqauare or trianle shaoed? You might even have round bread. Use a biscuit cutter to make shapes in the sandwiches.
- When you have finished with old clothes pull the buttons off and make a button box for soring and counting. So much learning can take place just with a button box - big, small, colour, counting, sequencing, making patterns.