What are maths skills?
Maths is the ability to recognise and apply mathematical concepts in all areas of life.
Maths skills involve understanding numbers, counting, solving number problems, measuring, estimating, sorting, noticing patterns, adding and subtracting numbers, and so on.
How does your child learn early maths skills?
Children start learning numeracy skills from the time they’re born. This learning happens from watching and experiencing numeracy in action, especially in everyday play and activities. For example, it happens when your child:
- hears you counting their fingers and toes
- starts to recognise numbers and shapes on objects like clocks and phones or in books
- decides how many slices of apple they want
As children get older, they learn more numeracy and maths skills, including size and measurement. For example, this happens when your child:
- compares things of different sizes – ‘big’, ‘small’ and ‘medium’
- groups things together and talks about ‘same’ and ‘different’
- uses words to describe where things are – ‘over’, ‘under’ and ‘next to’
- helps set the table with the right number of plates, forks, spoons and cups
- fills a water bottle
- helps with the shopping and uses money to buy things
- divides food into equal shares
And when you talk with your child about maths concepts in your everyday activities, it helps your child understand how and why maths is useful. For example, this happens when you point out:
- big and small (size)
- high and low (height)
- heavy and light (weight)
- fast and slow (speed)
- close and far (distance)
- first, second and last (order)