Encouraging Your Preschooler’s Numeracy Development

It is never too early to start introducing your child to pre numeracy concepts. Children that are exposed to pre numeracy during preschool are likely to have an easier time with numeracy and other subjects throughout their school career. Encourage your child’s numeracy development with fun and engaging activities! Read on to learn more about how you can incorporate numeracy in your preschooler’s daily life, and help give them a head start in school.

Concepts of Numeracy

Numeracy concepts such as time, shapes, space, order and problem solving can be seen everywhere in day-to-day life. Children tend to get a better grasp of these concepts when they are able to see and feel them. 


When explaining time to your child, use stopwatches or hourglasses to help your child develop a sense of time. They will begin to learn what takes a long time versus a short time. 


Learning about shapes presents countless opportunities for games and play. Try activities that involve shape sorting. Help your child identify shapes according to the size, number of sides, and colour of objects. Physical blocks or cut out shapes that your child can hold will help them comprehend the differences between certain common shapes. 

Spatial Awareness

Preschoolers can develop spatial awareness through play and visual activities. This will eventually translate into an understanding of geometry, so an early spatial sense can greatly benefit your child down the track. Talk to your child when they are “up” on the top of a slide and “down” at the bottom. There are millions of ways to describe space to your child.

Order and Patterns

Order and patterns can help your child make smart predictions. Introduce your child to order and patterns by explaining to them that the sun sets, we go to sleep, then the sun rises and we wake up! 


Numeracy skills are essentially an exercise to train the brain to solve problems. Children, and adults, use past knowledge and experience to solve new problems, so expose your child to as many new experiences as possible to give them the tools to deal with future issues. Critical thinking is enhanced and refined through the concepts of mathematics, so take the time to lay a strong problem-solving foundation for your child. 

Hands-on activities to try at home

Your child has a better chance of remembering what they learn if they are able to practise with hands-on activities. Cooking with your child is a great way to expose them to numbers, adding and subtracting, and concepts of time. Show your child the amount of ingredients you are using. Let them help weigh, scoop, and set the timer. Cooking with your child is the perfect time to bond, learn, and enjoy a tasty snack together! 

Go for nature walks with your preschooler. Outside, children can identify both big and little objects. They can estimate their pace and distance to gain a better understanding of space and time. In nature, you and your child can also point out patterns and order; which animals have fur or feathers? Count how many steps it takes to get to the next tree!

Happy Hippo Kindergarten and Childcare | Melbourne and Geelong

When it comes to a preschooler’s pre numeracy development, it’s all about play. Verbally explaining pre numeracy concepts to a young learner will not be very productive. Instead, let them learn by doing. Incorporate maths into everything you do together! At Happy Hippo centres in Annadale, Brunswick and Lovely Banks, children are encouraged to explore pre numeracy through a variety of exciting, hands-on activities. No child is too young to start understanding numeracy!