A new section of Early Years resources, supporting children's mathematical development, has been added to our NRICH website. The free resources are designed to support adults in developing the initial building blocks for mathematical thinking, reasoning and problem solving with young children.


We know how critical these initial building blocks are to children’s later success in mathematics. The new Early Years Foundation Stage activities aim to help support the development of the earliest stages of children’s mathematical understanding. 

The activities are aimed at ages 3 to 5 and published online as downloadable resource sheets. Each starts with an everyday activity that children enjoy (such as playing with blocks, drawing, singing nursery rhymes and tidying up) and suggests how adults can work with children to maximise the activity’s mathematical potential.

All the resources link to the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Each includes:

  • suggestions of rich contexts for exploring mathematical ideas and developing mathematical skills and concepts;
  • details of linked mathematics learning goals;
  • descriptions of the mathematical journey that the children might take through the task;
  • suggestions for prompts and questions to elicit mathematical responses from the children.


The development of these resources was made possible by funding from the Ernest Cook Trust and a HEIF 5 Knowledge Transfer grant from HEFCE. All the free resources can be found at nrich.maths.org/early-years.