Maths Week For Infants
Maths week takes place in October each year. It is an all-island celebration of maths and schools all over the country are taking part. If you are wondering how you can get your infants involved, here are some fun activities that you can do!
Bring maths into the outdoors with simple games like hopscotch or bowling. My infants always love the opportunity to write on the ground outside with chalk so this is also a great opportunity to get them to practice number formation, drawing sets etc in an alternative way.
An outdoor number/shape hunt is a really easy activity to do! Give them a magnifying glass and set them off! They absolutely love being number detectives and it is a great way to show them that numbers are all around us!
Shape & Space
There are so many great activities that you can do on the topic of shape with infants! Here are some of my favourite activities which also double up as nice crafty fine motor activities too!
Make 2D shape pictures. We made 2D shape monsters with paper or you can make pictures using foam which adds a nice kinesthetic element
Making a shape mobil is another nice shape activity. Cut a long strip of card to bend into a hoop shape. Have the children cut 2d shapes to hang from the hoop. Or another option is to cut the centre out of a paper plate and use a hole punch to make holes to thread string from!
My infants always love to play ‘What’s in the bag?’. Put some 2D shapes in a bag. Feel in the bag for a shape and describe its properties – can the children guess what shape it is? It is a great activity for encouraging shape language.
Lastly, printing with shapes is great fun, and you don’t need expensive sponges to do it! Just cut up a scouring sponge into a variety of shapes and they do a perfect job! You can link the activity to another strand, such as number (print a certain number of each shape) or pattern (make repeating patterns) or just let the children have fun exploring the paint and the shapes!
‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’ is a big hit with the infants if you’re teaching time during maths week. You could also get them to design their own wristwatch!
Set up a class shop! This one will require you to differentiate it according to the children’s exposure to the topic of money. For Junior Infants, I give them a little bag of 1c coins. Each shop item is priced at a price between 1c and 5c and they love playing shop in small groups!
Infants need lots of practice with number formation and Maths week is the ideal time to think about how to explore number formation outside of the traditional pencil and paper! We love making numbers from Uni-fix Snap cubes and with Play-doh! Other options are with chalk, in a sensory tray in a material such as sand, rice or shaving foam or with Lego!
Maths at home
Of course, the maths week fun doesn’t just have to happen ins school! Set some fun maths homework like making a maths hat!
I love singing with my little infants and there is a huge array of early maths songs that you can teach them. Here are some of my favourite ones!
Games, games and more games!
So many games contain numbers, counting, matching, positional language, shapes etc so get the games out and have some fun! I am a huge fan or Orchard Games. They have so many to choose from and are widely available in toy shops for very reasonable prices.
Dont forget the traditional games too – Snakes and Ladders, Bingo etc!
Number of the day/Problem of the day – A number or problem of the day is a great way to encourage the use of maths language and problem solving skills. Of course, with all of these ideas, they don’t just have to be for maths week!