Hands on with maths

4 - 6 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Small boy playing with an abacus

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Foundation Year curriculum include:

  • solving everyday addition and subtraction problems using materials or fingers
  • modelling addition by combining two or more small groups of objects
  • modelling subtraction by separating and taking away part of a group of objects
  • comparing two groups of objects to determine how many more
  • solving sharing problems by using materials to model equal groups.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Model maths problems

Using objects to model maths problems will help your child to master addition, subtraction and sharing. These examples show how to build modelling practice into everyday activities:

  • when you’re putting the shopping away, your child can model addition by counting all the apples, then all the pears, then all the bananas, and then working out (or counting) how many there are in total
  • when you're sorting the washing, your child can model subtraction by counting all the socks, then folding some, counting how many they've folded, and working out how many are still left
  • when you're having a party, your child can model a sharing problem by helping you to divide the treats into equal groups.

Go online

For online reinforcement, Who's got the most marbles? will give your child practice at:

  • comparing the size of two groups and using more, less and the same.



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Last modified
5 May 2020