Number rhymes: 5 currant buns

Another number rhyme from Five currant buns is a long established number rhyme which helps children count down from 5 to zero. Again, it is a rhyme that can be learned off by heart. This whole idea can be developed in many ways: eg by baking some cakes, having 5 lined up and taking them away, one at a time, swapping with a 1p coin each time.

Five Currant Buns

Number rhymes: Five little ducks

Number rhymes from together with

The second in our series of number rhymes for young children to help them recognise numbers and count up to 5 and from 5 back down to zero. There is plenty that can be done with number rhymes such as this, children like to learn them off by heart, starting just by saying “Quack, quack, quack” and quickly remembering more of the verses. They can be incorporated into games: bath time with rubber ducks.

Five little ducks went out one day,
Into the woods and far away.
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack,”
But only four little ducks came back.

etc. Click on link below to view and print the number rhyme and further activities.

Five little ducks

Number rhymes: Five red apples

Number rhymes are vitally important for the early development of number and maths skills. There are many of them but the best tend to have a repetitive theme –  we all know the horrendous ‘ten green bottles’.
‘The Farmer’s Apple Tree’ is a good number rhyme for young children which can be read aloud. It helps with counting down from 5.
I am not sure of the origin of it but it appears in many different forms. This version comes from a forthcoming set from and includes extra pages to colour and write numbers from 1 to 5.

Five red apples

Free maths worksheet: counting and matching

Free maths worksheet from

Thanks to for this worksheet. They specialise in early years maths and have some great free resources. This is a counting and matching page. Matching equal numbers of things is an important step for young children and one which should be encouraged as often as possible. Worksheets are only one way of doing this; there are plenty of opportunities in the home for matching eg laying the table with knives and forks, spoons with bowls etc.

Counting and matching dogs and kennels p1

URBrainy free maths worksheet: early years counting

Free maths worksheet from

We are lucky enough to have limited access to some of the URBrainy worksheets for early years. These really are presented very well and are a great set of resources for children just starting off with maths. Here is a simple counting worksheet.

Many more can be found at

Counting up to 5 gorillas pg 1

Free reception maths worksheet: how many more?

Free reception maths worksheet: how many more?

busstop1.jpgHere is a nice little page from the forthcoming URBrainy website (not yet online). It looks at a key phrase which young children need to understand, “How many are left?”

It also relates the term “How many are left?” to the subtraction sum and the subtraction sign.

Children find subtraction far harder than addition and many are not familiar with phrases such as these and don’t know what they mean.

Free reception maths worksheet: how many more?

Free reception maths worksheet: One more than

gorilla imageThanks to ‘Youarebrainy’ for this worksheet for very young children. ‘More than’ and ‘less than’ are important concepts for children to understand and they need plenty of practical work at home before moving onto worksheets: eg ask questions during everyday life, such as ‘Have I got more cake than you?’

Again, if using a worksheet with young children make sure that you sit down with them and talk about it – the pictures as well as what needs to be done.

Reception maths worksheet: One more than

Reception maths vocabulary: Position, direction and movement

Reception maths vocabulary: Position, direction and movement

Words which describe the position and direction of objects are very important to use with your children. Confidence in using these terms enables children to describe what is happening in the world around them. Many of the movement words are later used in mathematics with such topics as shape, co-ordinates, translations etc.

Reception maths vocabulary: Position, direction and movement

Reception maths vocabulary: Shape and space

The vocabulary that young children are expected to know is quite challenging and none more so than in Shape and Space. Children are expected to be able to explore shapes, talk about their properties and know some quite tricky names of 2D and 3D shapes, including sphere, pyramid and cone.

This knowledge can only be gained with plenty of experience of handling and playing with shapes – don’t forget, the kitchen is a great place to be if you want to get the names of shapes into the conversation!

Reception maths vocabulary: Shape and space