EYFS Focus:
10 Creative Early Years Maths Activities
Fun and educational ideas you can count on.

Maths in the early years is a crucial stepping stone for developing children, which is why it’s so important that the little ones can explore and experience it in an enjoyable way.

That’s why we’ve done our research and carefully chosen some simple yet inspiring ways to introduce kids to the queen of science itself.

1. Number Hunt in Jelly

The early years maths activity:Learning Numbers with Jelly by Make Do and Friend

In a nutshell – First, spread out some plastic numbers in jelly layers. When it’s all set, give out some tongs to children and show them how to pick up the numbers from the wiggly substance (and practice their fine motor skills along the way!). This sensory play is a great way of sneaking in number recognition to something fun and engaging for the children.

What you need

  • Jelly
  • Bowls
  • Plastic Numbers
  • Tongs

2. LEGO Patterns

The early years maths activity:DIY Lego Pattern Cards by A Crafty Living

In a nutshell – Good, old LEGO. Useful – in so many different ways, here it comes to the rescue yet again. Prepare some cards with colourful blocks on them and let kids discover colour patterns and reproduce them with LEGO blocks. Consider leaving the colouring part to your little learners to include some EAD a in the mix too.

What you need

  • Paper Cards
  • Coloured Pencils
  • LEGO Blocks

3. Missing Numbers

The early years maths activity:Missing Number Math Activity by Planning Playtime

In a nutshell – Write number sequences on craft sticks and remember to leave some blanks in between. Next, you write the missing numbers on a bunch of clothes pins and give them out to your class. Now you’re ready to let the kids use their fine motor skills and clip the pins on sticks. The best thing about this inexpensive early years maths activity is that you only create the props once and they’re ready to be used as many times as you like.

What you need

  • Craft Sticks (colour or plain)
  • Sharpies
  • Clothes Pins

4. Smack It

The early years maths activity:Smack the Number Counting Game by Fun Learning for Kids

In a nutshell – Prepare some sticky notes with various numbers and place them in front of the children armed with fly swatters. The goal of this simple yet fun game is for the little ones to identify the number on the dice and match it with the ones written on sticky notes before smacking the correct answer with a fly swatter!

What you need

  • Dice
  • Fly Swatter
  • Sticky Notes

5. Straws and Pom Poms

The early years maths activity: Straw and Pom Poms Counting Game by Nurture Store

In a nutshell – Label small containers with some numbers that you’d like your learners to practice and prepare some straws and pom poms. To play this early years maths activity, the kids simply put the straw on a pom-pom, suck in to try and pick it up and drop over the containers until they’ve got the right number in each one.

What you need

  • Pom Poms
  • Straws
  • Shallow Containers
  • Labeled Stickers (or any paper, glue and marker)

6. Do-a-Dots!

The early years maths activity: Number Dots and Easy Touch And Count Activity by Busy Toddler

In a nutshell – Tape some parchment paper to the wall and write several numbers, each decorated with as many dots as the number. Now, kids can touch each dot with a do-a-dot marker and see the number and the quantity all together! You can also put the paper on the floor but holding a marker up and out makes this not only an activity for early years maths but also a good way to strengthen those little arm muscles.

What you need

  • Parchment Paper
  • Sharpie Marker
  • Do-a-Dots Markers

7. Spinning Cups

The early years maths activity:Cool Math Activity for Kids by Planning Playtime

In a nutshell – It’s a great, interactive activity for introducing simple equations. You just need to take a sharpie, write some numbers and mathematical symbols on the edges of styrofoam cups, and then stack them on each other in a logical order (e.g. 1 + 3 = 4). Now, show the little ones how to spin the different cups and create true equations!

What you need

  • Styrofoam Cups with Lips
  • Sharpie Markers

8. Egg Cracking

The early years maths activity:Egg Cracking Counting Activity by Modern Preschool

In a nutshell – Create ‘eggs’ by cutting out oval shapes from cardboard and write different numbers on them. Let the kids identify the numbers and crack the eggs by punching the corresponding number of holes in them. This exercise can also help develop hand muscles.

What you need

  • Cardboard
  • Hole Punch
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Scissors

9. Musical Maths

The early years maths activity:Top 10 Counting Songs by Super Simple Songs – Kids Songs

In a nutshellAccording to the BBC “When children are singing they are taking in information and training the brain but they don’t think they are, they think they are just having fun. Singing is an aerobic activity that boosts oxygenation in the bloodstream, increasing mental alertness”. We agree! Check out these 10 lovely songs to give it a go.

What you need

  • A Music Player

10. Broken Hearts

The early years maths activity:Valentine Math Activity – Broken Heart Numbers by Fun a Day

In a nutshell – Here’s an idea for February 14th. Simply cut out some hearts and cut each in half using different zigzags, squiggles and so on. Then write a number on one side and draw a corresponding number of hearts on the other. Well done, you’ve just created puzzles! Now it’s time for the little ones to find matching parts of the broken hearts.

What you need

  • Construction Paper
  • Sharpie Markers

50 Free EYFS Activities

Interested in more? Download our full guide with 50 stunning EYFS activities, completely free.