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Ideas for helping with maths at home

As parents and carers you play a vital role in supporting your child's development of mathematical skills and understanding.


Finding opportunities for your child to practise and apply their mathematical understanding in a variety of practical ways at home and also when out and about would be very beneficial. For example, when shopping, measuring and cooking.


Below is a list (by no means exhaustive) of some of the ways maths can be used during your everyday lives.


Most importantly, have fun with Maths!

Watching TV

Counting programmes

Telling the time

Adding lengths of time e.g. one programme is 30 minutes and one is 60 minutes; how long altogether?

Reading a TV guide

Calculating durations of time e.g. the programme starts at 6.30 and last for 45 minutes, what time does it finish?

Football (playing and watching matches)

Calculating lengths of time

Counting the scores

Calculations based on league tables e.g. Millwall have 44 points and have played 44 games, how many games could they have won, drawn and lost?


Adding and subtracting money

Comparing prices (most/least expensive)

What could I afford with £10?

Calculating change from £10 note

Value for money (buy one get one free etc.)


Calculating distances/speed

Calculating time (in seconds and minutes)


Calculating time durations e.g. how long was the film if it started at this time? How much longer than this film?

Beach day out

Running on the beach e.g. how fast can they run? (time/distance)

Calculating distances

Counting/sorting shells or pebbles

Riding a bike

Calculating distance/speed


Counting children

Comparing how many girls/boys/adults etc

Adding and taking away children as they leave and arrive

Sorting leaves/acorns/conkers/fir cones

Comparing largest/smallest trees

In the garden

Measure and record (table and graph form) how plants grow over time

Compare several plants

Measuring temperature/rainfall

In the kitchen

Weighing/measuring for cooking

Counting e.g. pasta shapes, tins, jars

Converting measures

Shapes/volume of packaging

Ordering by weight/price/amount of fat


More than/less than

Fractions e.g. if I use half of the tin, how much will the leftovers weigh?

Sorting washing

Using calendars and diaries

Out and about

Number plates e.g. calculating with the digits

Odd and even house numbers e.g. what number will be next?

Shapes in the real world e.g. can you spot a rectangle/triangle/circle?

Estimating and measuring distances using non-standard units e.g. how many steps from our house to the car/park/shop?


Counting and sorting cars by colour/make/model/age

Train and bus timetables and calculating times

At home

Talking about directions when walking around or playing with toy vehicles etc. e.g. forwards, backwards, straight on, turn left/right

Playing games - dominoes, snakes and ladders, Monopoly, bingo, Yahtzee, various card games

Making models with building bricks, Lego, boxes etc. Talk about shape and position; count the number of similar shapes etc.

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