Fact sheet: Numeracy skills: 0 - 5 years

From the Centre for Community Child Health

Numeracy skills are important skills for your child- they're the ones that they will use for many situations throughout their lives. In the years before school, children's numeracy skills come from encouraging instinctive mathematical thinking and providing opportunities to practice.

Young child holding a red card.

Activities like:

  • sorting and counting objects such as buttons, blocks, beads, toy cars and plastic animals
  • building with blocks
  • cooking, weighing and measuring ingredients
  • measuring how heavy or light things are
  • looking at how much different containers hold
  • using shape sorting boxes and balls

You can also ask your child questions like:

  • Does that shape block fit in this hole?
  • How many birds are there in the tree?
  • Which way will we go on our walk?
  • Is there enough cake for everyone to have a piece?
  • What happens when you put another block on the pile?

Environmental numbers

Numbers are all around us- on your front fence, in the mail, on signs and on number plates. Use these environmental numbers and have conversations about numbers to support your child to develop their numeracy skills.

The mathematical thinking your child develops in their earliest years will form the foundation for more formal maths learning they'll do at school, and contribute to their life skills.

More information