Looking for EYFS maths ideas for your space topic? How about making a small world area with the focus on mathematical problem solving?
To complete this EYFS maths activity you will need:
- Tuff tray, table or other suitable surface. This could be covered in foil or fabric.
- Stones (moon rock)
- Tin foil
- Metal bowls
- Toy rockets, astronauts (e.g. lego or playmobil people) etc.
- Polystyrene balls covered in foil. (asteroids)
- Weighing equipment
- Glass gems
- Numbers on stars, moons, rockets or similar
- Bun tins
- Metal effect cake cases
Make sure you risk assess any small objects (e.g. glass gems) and use your professional judgement in deciding which items are appropriate for your setting.
- Counting and sorting objects (people, asteroids, moon rock etc.)
- Addition and subtraction using objects
- Sharing and grouping objects
- Reading numerals and matching to quantities of objects
- Positional language (e.g. The astronaut is in front of the rocket.”)
- Ordering “asteroids” by size or weight
- Weighing sand, rocks etc.
To encourage mathematical thinking, try using these questions to spark the children’s ideas!
- How could you sort these …?
- Can you find this many (show number)…?
- Can you put these in order?
- How many different… can you find?
- What would happen if…?
Record the children’s learning using a camera or tablet, and encourage them to use mark making equipment to record their ideas and observations.
- Use your observations to identify further opportunities the children will benefit from, such as adding different resources or increasing the number of objects to make the thinking more complex.
- This learning could also be supported in other areas of the setting, for example:
- Making rockets in the creative area.
- Books about space in the reading area.
- Building opportunities in the construction area.
- For further reading on developing mathematical problem solving in the Early Years, there are two excellent articles on the nrich website – Mathematical Problem Solving in the Early Years and Mathematical Problem Solving in the Early Years: Developing Opportunities, Strategies and Confidence
ELG12 Maths – Space, Shape and Measures:
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
This post was written by Sam Collins
Sam teaches in Devon, and has over 20 years experience in primary education teaching Early Years, KS1 and KS2.