Order in the house!

4 - 6 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Small children arranging paper shapes on floor

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:

  • recognising simple patterns in everyday contexts
  • sorting and classifying familiar objects
  • copying, describing and continuing repeating patterns with objects and drawings.

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

Get the basics sorted

Sorting and grouping are important maths concepts for your child to master, so use these tips to give your child practice (and develop their organisation skills at the same time!):

  • point out when things have been sorted and/or grouped, and talk about how and why
    See how the shirts are grouped by colour and then each colour is sorted by size. Imagine how hard it would be to find a red size 6 for you if they were all mixed up!
  • involve your child when you are sorting things, and talk about the groups you are using
    Could you help me put the cutlery away? Remember to sort the knives, forks and spoons into their separate compartments so that it's easy to find what we need.
  • explore different ways to sort things
    How would you like to arrange your books? Libraries sort them by title or topic so they're easier to find, but at home some people sort them by size or colour so they look more tidy.

Repeating patterns have the same parts repeated in the same order (eg red white blue red white blue red white blue). To help your child master this concept:

  • point out repeating patterns around you – eg in fabrics, paving, fences, gardens
  • encourage your child to create their own repeating patterns – eg decorating a cake, drawing in sand, arranging shells
  • make up repeating patterns with sounds and movements – eg rhythms, words, dance moves. 

Go online

For online reinforcement, try these:



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Last modified
15 April 2020