Year 1

Helping your
child with
In Year 1
Helping your child with Maths
Try to make maths as much fun as possible - games, puzzles and
jigsaws are a great way to start. It's also important to show how we
use maths skills in our everyday lives and to involve your child in
this. Don't shy away from maths if you didn’t like it at school. Try to
find new ways to enjoy the subject with your child. Here are some
Help your child to count beyond 20 by counting steps as you walk to
school. Try starting at a multiple of 10 (10, 20, 30, 40 etc.) and help
your child to count on.
You could also count steps in 2s, 5s or 10s to help your child learn
these times tables.
Children also need to be able to count backwards to help them with
subtraction. Try starting at 20 and count backwards with each step
you take. Once your child can confidently count back from 20, try
bigger numbers to start from.
Number Recognition
Help your child to learn to recognise numbers. Point out numbers
you see in everyday activities, such as numbers on packets or prices,
car number plates, house or bus numbers.
Number Formation
Help your child practise writing numbers. Start with 1 to 9, focusing
on getting the numbers the right way around. The numbers below
have a dot to show you where to start and an arrow to show the
direction to form the number in.
Try asking your child to write the numbers in random order.
Once your child can confidently write these numbers the correct
way around, move to 10 and beyond.
Roll 2 dice/ pick 2 numbers out of a hat. Ask your child to put the
bigger number first. Help them add the two numbers together by
counting on.
If you roll a 3 and a 6, put the 6 first.
Encourage your child to put the
number 6 in their head, then count on
3 more. So, they will say 6, and count
on 7,8,9. Children often want to count
all the spots. Emphasise that we don’t
need to count the first 6, we can start
from this number and count on.
Once your child can add together 2 single digit numbers, move on
to rolling 3 dice.
Make a target game
Place three or four empty boxes on the floor. Label each box with a
number between 1 and 5. Encourage your child to help you to
make up rules for the game. How many paper balls can you throw
in a turn? How many does the winner of the game need to score
Playing skittles
Make a set of skittles using ten cardboard tubes
which can be knocked over with a soft ball. Score
1 for every skittle knocked over. Move on to
scoring 2 for every skittle knocked over and help
your child count in 2s. Also try scoring 5 and 10
for every skittle.
More advanced number work
Make some 2 digit number cards. Ask your child to read the number.
• How many tens are in the number?
• How many units?
• Can your child write the 2 digit number?
• Ask your child to put the numbers in order, from smallest to
25 47 61 89 93
(4 tens)
(7 units)
Other ideas as an alternative to number cards:
Adding 10
Use the 100 square below to help your child to add 10 to a 2 digit
number. Throw a counter onto the 100 square and ask your child to
say what number it has landed on. Ask them to find the number
which is 10 more. Encourage them to describe what has happened to
the number (the number in the 10s column has got bigger by 1).
Encourage your child to recognise the ‘quick’ way of adding 10. They
do not need to count on 10, they can simply move to the number
below the one they landed on. Once they understand this, they are
ready to add a multiple of 10. (10/20/30/40/50/60/70/80/90.)
Subtracting 10
You can use the 100 square to subtract 10 and multiples of 10. Ask
your child to explain how they could subtract 10. Encourage them to
recognise that they need to look at the number above the one they
landed on. They can then move on to subtracting multiples of 10.
Number Bonds to 10
Playing skittles
Make a set of skittles using ten cardboard tubes which can be
knocked over with a soft ball. After each throw talk about the score:
There were ten skittles and we knocked over 6. There are 4 left
standing up. 6 and 4 make 10.
Number bond dice games
Roll a die. Ask your child what number goes with the number rolled
to make 10.
0 + 10 = 10
6 + 4 = 10
1 + 9 = 10
7 + 3 = 10
2 + 8 = 10
8 + 2 = 10
3 + 7 = 10
9 + 1 = 10
4 + 6 = 10
10 + 0 = 10
5 + 5 = 10
What we are aiming for is immediate recall of number bonds to 10.
You could play the “I say, you say” game. You say a number below 10
and your child has to give you the number bond that goes with it to
make 10, as quickly as possible. ( I say 4, you say ___). Your child
says 6.
Number Bonds to 20
Use a set of 20 objects to help
your child learn number bonds to
20. Start with 10 + 10. Tell your
child to move one counter over to
the other side. How many are on
each side now? 9 + 11. Challenge
your child to find as many
different ways to make 20 as
possible, by adding 2 numbers
0 + 20 = 20
1 + 19 = 20
2 + 18 = 20
3 + 17 = 20
4 + 16 = 20
5 + 15 = 20
6 + 14 = 20
7 + 13 = 20
8 + 12 = 20
9 + 11 = 20
10 + 10 = 20
11 + 9 = 20
Roll 2 dice. Ask your child to put the biggest number first, then
subtract (take away) the smallest from the largest. Or you could write
numbers (up to 10 at first) on pieces of paper and ask your child to
pick 2, then subtract the smallest from the largest. Your child may like
to use buttons as to help with subtraction.
When your child is confident at working within 10, move on to 20
and beyond.
More difficult Subtraction
Choose a 2 digit number card and roll a dice. Write down the number
25 – 6 = 19
Encourage your child to put the bigger number in their head and
count back. Remind your child that we don’t say the number we start
on. So, for the above number sentence, your child would put 25 in
their head and say 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19.
Introduce your child to doubling numbers by using 2 sets of objects
of the same size:
Double 3 equals 6. 3 + 3 = 6. Start with numbers up to 5 and then
progress to numbers up to 10. The aim is for your child to be able to
recall doubles up to double 10 instantly. This requires lots of
Near doubles
When your child can double numbers up to 10, move on to near
doubles, e.g. 6 + 7.
Double 7 is 14. We then need to subtract 1, because we are finding
6 + 7.
Give your child some pebbles/buttons/grapes etc. and ask them to
share them fairly between 2 teddies, so it is fair and both teddies
get the same amount.
When your child can share between 2 teddies, move on to sharing
fairly between 3, 4 and then 5 teddies.
2D Shape
Talk about the different shapes around the home and when you are
out walking.
3D Shape
Ask your child what a 3D shape is. It is one which you can hold in
your hand. 2D shapes are flat.
Look for 3D shapes everywhere you go. You could take photographs
and make a 3D shape book. The most common 3D shapes are
shown below:
triangular prism
In year 1 we focus on o’ clock and half past times. Once your child
has mastered this, move on to quarter to the hour and quarter past
the hour.
Select 3 different size and shape containers – mugs/bottles/glasses
etc. Ask your child which one they think holds the most water. Test
this by seeing how many times you have to fill that container to fill a
saucepan. You could record your results in a table.
How many to fill the saucepan?
Plastic beaker
Tea cup
Talk to your child about the shape of the containers. Did the tallest
one hold the most water?
When you go shopping there are many opportunities for helping
your child with maths. Let them handle money and help them to
recognise the coins.
Ask your child to give you 6p. Ask your child if that is the only way to
make 6p. What other ways are there?
Once your child is used to investigating making 6p in different ways,
move on to a bigger number.
Give your child 20p. Set up a shop where everything costs less than
20p. Let your child ‘buy’ something from the shop and ask them
how much change they need.
If you weigh foods when shopping or baking, share with your child
how you read the scales. Encourage them to have a go at reading
the scales for themselves.
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