Number Recognition

Mathematics for a young child involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, number recognition and using numbers.

Stage One

When working with numbers, first of all concentrate on numbers 1-5. Have the numbers on flashcards and see if your child recognises them in and out of order.

If your child is confident, then move to numbers 6-10 but continue to use numbers 1-5 so they don’t forget them!

Stage Two

Work on recognising numbers 1-10 by playing lots of number recognition games which are listed at the bottom of this page.

Your child may be able to match a number to the right amount of things, eg: count out 3 balls and then match it to the number.

Number Cars
  1. Place numbers 1-5, or 6-10 on the cars. First of all have the numbers in order.
  2. Create a ramp or a road for the cars to go on.
  3. Say a number and ask your child to drive that car.
  4. Repeat with the numbers out of order at the start.
  5. To challenge your child, place numbered car parking spaces at the end and your child has to match the numbered car to the numbered car parking space.

Stage Three

Encourage your child to recognise and order numbers 1-10 and once they are confident at this, they can order numbers 1-20.

They may be able to match the right number to a group of objects from 1-5 to begin with and then from 1-10.

Number Splat
  1. Place numbers 1-10 on a wall or door.
  2. Give your child a spatula or splatting device.
  3. Ask them to spalt the number you ask them.
  4. Repeat with other numbers.
  5. Challenge: Ask them to splat the number 8 and then to show you 8 on their fingers.
Number Skittles

You have painted the toilet rolls and so now it is time to use them for some maths.

  1. Place numbers on the toilet rolls. Put the toilet rolls in a pile and point to the toilet rolls (out of numerical order) so that you can check to make sure that they recognise them.
  2. Ask your child to put the numbers in the right order, starting from number one. Once they have finished, have a number discussion: “Which number is next to 5?” “What is the biggest number?” “What is the smallest number?”
  1. Have the correct number cards ready and ask your child to match the card to the correct number. Can they count the shapes on them too?
  1. Now it’s time to bowl. Take turns to bowl, knocking down the skittles and explaining which numbers you have knocked down! Can you knock down more than one skittle?
  1. Time for missing numbers. Ask your child to physically leave the room, which is good as it is getting them moving and a change of scenery resets them. Remove one skittle. What number is missing? If they are unsure ask them to look for the gap in the skittles and start counting from 1 to the missing number to help them.
  2. Then it’s your turn to leave the room and for your child to remove a skittle. What number is missing? How do you know?
  3. Repeat removing two skittles and if they would like a challenge, three skittles! Hooray!

Number Recognition Games for all Stages

  • Hide and seek numbers. Your child has to go and find them and tell you the number.
  • Write down large numbers on pieces of card. Say a number and then ask your child to stand on that number. Repeat with other numbers.
  • Place numbers on toy cars and ask them to drive number 6 etc. Set it up by having the numbers in order and then mix them up.
  • Put numbers 1-5 in the correct order and then numbers 1-10.
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