Early Maths Activities (E.M.A)

“Children come to school with some mathematical knowledge, which they have gained at home and through play” (PDST). Children are learning everyday, they see the world through imaginative eyes – something which some of us adults lose as we get older. Early Mathematical Activities allow children to become aware of maths in their own environment and access learning through playful exploration and meaningful experiences in this environment.

Early Mathematical Activities consist of Comparing, Ordering, Matching and Classifying. Children take part in these activities almost everyday without even knowing:

  • Tidying their room – children may sort toys into different boxes/blue toys here, green toys there (Sorting/Classifying)
  • If a child notices that someone else has more sweets/treat than they do “hey you have more than me in your plate” (That’s comparing – children are beginning to realise what unfair sharing is – you have 3 and I only have 1)
  • Stacking cubes/Ordering teddies according to height (Ordering – which size comes next)
  • Shape sorting toys – where child put the circle into the circle slot, square into the square slot and so on (Matching)

I have put together some activities that I have used in my classroom that are based on the four key elements of Early Mathematical Activities. All my templates were downloaded from Twinkl.com and are available to view on their website. I downloaded them, cut them out and used velcro backing to stick them together so they can be used over and over again. I find velcro much better than pritstick for this reason. I hope you enjoy!


A simple colour sorting activity – can do this activity with baskets/tubs and household items toys (i.e. sort different types of fruit)
Sorting animals – I just used plain sheets of paper
Shape sorting – can be done on paper or again use plastic tubs/boxes and get children to sort selected items around the house


This is a template but can be just written on normal paper and cut out. The children would then rearrange the numbers
A sequencing activity for slightly older children


Comparing Sets – are they same/equal? Does one basket have more than the other basket
Comparing an item based on size – can be done with any toys/lego builds/etc.


Mating pictures to shadow outlines – an alternative to this activity would be trace around some items and allow the child to match the item to the outline
Matching picture to number – once children have an understanding of the concept of counting – they can begin to count objects and match them to the correct number. This fosters number recognition.

Hope this helps!

Leah x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: