7 minutes

Mathematics with Arc at Home

Are you a subscriber of Arc at Home or is your child’s school using Arc at School? Or maybe you are using both! Whichever app you are using, it is important to realise that from an early age, children are budding mathematicians. They have a natural fascination for numbers, quantities, shapes and sizes. Research shows that when we nurture our young child's natural curiosity for early maths, we are not only setting them up for future success in that subject but also laying the groundwork for their overall development. 

Let’s take a look at the Arc at Home Mathematics Arc. In Arc at Home, this Arc is made up of the following six strands.


Children love the sound of numbers! They enjoy number words in nursery rhymes or as they stack blocks or count their fingers.  Providing lots and lots of opportunities for counting and comparing in play is hugely beneficial to your child’s emerging numerical skills.

Shape and Space

Shapes are the building blocks of your child’s visual and sensory world. By providing numerous hands-on activities that involve sorting, matching, and constructing, we can help foster our children’s shape recognition and spatial awareness and also empower them to see the world through a mathematical lens.

Your child needs to figure out where things are in space and more importantly, where they are! This is spatial awareness, and it is essential for everyday tasks, from navigating a crowded playground to helping to lay the table. By providing opportunities for plenty of hands-on exploration and movement, we can help our children not only visualise and manipulate space around them but also navigate their physical surroundings with confidence and ease.


From the length of a pencil to the volume of a cup, measurement permeates every aspect of our children’s lives. By engaging inactivities that involve simple estimation and comparison, children develop a keen sense of measurement, helping them to enjoy carrying out everyday tasks and solve real-life problems.


Time shapes our routines, rituals, and memories. Children are immersed in time from birth! By providing frequent opportunities to sequence – “Let’s have a story after lunch,” and to predict, “I wonder if it will rain this afternoon,” and to remember, “We went to the zoo last week,” - we can help nurture our child’s emerging concept of time with increasing confidence and clarity.

Colour and Patterns

By recognising colour and patterns in the world around them, young children begin to practise the ability to anticipate what might happen next. This is like solving a puzzle - finding the pieces that fit together.This skill lays the groundwork for more advanced mathematical concepts down the road, encouraging children to become budding problem-solvers and critical thinkers.

How can we encourage our children to be mathematicians?  

Solve real mathematical problems together! How many pieces of fruit will we need at lunch time? How many jugs of water are needed to fill up the sink? Is this toy box the right shape to fit in the cupboard?  

Talk openly to your child about how you use maths. “I am counting how many glasses we need on the table.” “I’ll put two more spoons of flour into the bowl.” “I have put too many carrots on my plate. They won’t fit!”

Ask questions that stimulate and extend your child’s thinking and understanding of numbers, shapes and measures. “I wonder if this toy will fit into the box.”

Talk lots and lots maths language! Include words or phrases such as ‘how many’, ‘how big/small’, ‘heavy/light’, ‘tall/short’,‘some/lots’, ‘empty/full’, ‘let’s count.’ ‘one/two/three’, etc. The more maths language your child hears, especially in playful situations, the more they can use that language during the day! 

Just a thought

Play is the work of children.

Maria Montessori 

Maths is more than just a subject; it is a journey of exploration and discovery. And repetition goes hand in hand with exploration. By providing numerous opportunities to explore all the different avenues of maths over and over again, children can gain increased confidence in applying these skills to their everyday lives. Research shows that toddlers and young children can ‘engage spontaneously with maths’ almost half of the time they are playing.

Play is the primary mode of learning for our young children. As they play with toys, games, and everyday objects, they are unknowingly exposed to all types of mathematical ideas. Whether they are stacking blocks, sorting shapes, or pouring water into containers, they are developing mathematical thinking through hands-on experiences. And becoming confident mathematicians in the making!

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