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## Maths problem-solving activities for Early Years settings

● finding ways to solve problems;

● finding new ways to do things;

● making links and noticing patterns in their experience;

● developing ideas of grouping, sequences, cause and effect;

● planning, making decisions about how to approach a task, solve a problem and reach a goal;

● checking how well their activities are going;

● changing strategy as needed;

● reviewing how well the approach worked.

## Role of the adult

You can effectively support children’s developing problem-solving strategies through:

## Problem solving possibilities

## Going, going, gone

## Camping out

● Materials to construct a tent or den such as sheets, curtains, poles, clips, string.

● Rucksacks, water bottles, compass and maps.

● Oven shelf and bricks to build a campfire or barbecue.

● Buckets and bowls and water for washing up.

● Some distance away, builders’ buckets filled with damp sand and large gravel.

● Bucket balances and bathroom scales.

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## Ten of our favourite early years problem-solving activities

## Supporting problem-solving

## 1) Den-building

## 2) Cooking and baking

## 3) Playing with patterns

## 4) Sorting and categorising

## 6) Ice rescue

## 7) Obstacle courses

## 8) Filling, emptying and investigation

## 9) Story problems

## 10) Playing with loose parts or open-ended resources

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## What your child will learn in Reception

In Reception, your child will learn to:

- Count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.
- Use quantities and objects to add and subtract 2 single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.
- Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time, and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems.
- Recognise, create, and describe patterns.
- Explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
- Age 3–4 (Early Years)
- Age 4–5 (Reception)
- Age 5–6 (Year 1)
- Age 6–7 (Year 2)
- Age 7–8 (Year 3)
- Age 8–9 (Year 4)
- Age 9–10 (Year 5)
- Age 10–11 (Year 6)
- Year 1 (age 5–6)
- Year 2 (age 6–7)
- Year 3 (age 7–8)
- Year 4 (age 8–9)
- Year 5 (age 9–10)
- Year 6 (age 10–11)
- Help with times tables
- Ratio & proportion
- Learning to tell the time
- Numicon parent guide
- MyMaths parent guide
- Maths activity books

## Problem solving activities

## EYFS Home Page

Welcome to the early years foundation stage homepage, early years curriculum.

## Professional Development

## Children's Thinking

## Maths Problem Solving activities

## 10 Simple Activities to Teach Your Preschooler Problem Solving

Posted on Last updated: 7 Nov 2022

Categories Cognitive Development

## What is Problem Solving in Early Childhood?

## Problem Solving Skills for Kids

These are some examples of problem-solving skills for preschoolers , as listed by kent.ac.uk .

- Lateral thinking
- Analytical thinking
- Decision-making skills
- Logical reasoning
- Persistence
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills

## The Importance of Developing Problem-Solving Skills in Early Childhood

Of all the many things preschoolers need to learn , what makes problem solving so important?

## Problem Solving in Preschool

During the foundational years, children are constantly solving problems as they play .

Here are just a few examples of problem solving in early childhood :

- Resolving a fight over the same toy
- Reaching a ball that’s stuck in the tree
- Forming a circle while holding hands
- Making a bridge to connect two block towers
- Tying or untying a shoe
- Making up rules for a new game
- Trying to get the consistency of a mud cake right so it stops falling over

## Problem Solving for Older Children

- Problems with friendships
- Struggling to understand something during a lesson
- Learning to balance the demands of sport and homework
- Finding the best way to study for a test
- Asking a teacher for help when needed

- Solving a riddle or understanding a work of literature
- Working on projects with a friend
- Finding solutions during science experiments
- Solving mathematical problems
- Solving hypothetical problems during lessons
- Answering questions and completing exam papers

## Solving Problems in Mathematics

Mathematics is just a series of problems that need to be solved.

What we refer to as problem solving in Maths is usually answering word problems .

## Problem Solving in the Workplace

## How to Teach Children Problem-Solving Skills

## Problem-Solving Strategies and Steps

Step 5: Look at the consequences

Therefore, activities at a preschool level need not present complicated high-level problems.

- A simple activity such as identifying differences in a picture can work on the first skill needed – identifying a problem.
- Playing with construction toys can develop a child’s ability to try various solutions and examine the options when faced with a problem such as trying to find the best way to build something.
- Playing Tic-Tac-Toe would make a child predict the consequences of placing their mark in a particular square.

## How to Teach Problem Solving with Questions

Here are some examples of questions:

- What do you think made the tower of blocks fall down?
- If we build it again, how can we change the structure so that it won’t fall down next time?
- Is there a better way we can do it? If you think of a different way, we can both try it and see which works better.
- Did that work? The tower fell again so let’s try another solution.

Problems will be seen as challenges to be faced logically and not “problems.”

## 10 Problem-Solving Activities for Preschoolers

Children should have regular exposure to puzzles. They are great for developing thinking skills.

## 2. Memory games

Memory games will develop your child’s memory and attention to detail.

Get your own memory game cards by downloading the FREE set of printables at the end of the post.

## 3. Building with Construction Toys

- Make two towers with a bridge joining them together
- Build a creature that stands on its own and has 3 arms.

Then watch your child wracking his brain until he finds a way to make his structure work.

## 4. Activity Books

## 5. Following Patterns

This simple activity can be played with a set of coloured blocks , shapes or counters.

## 6. Story Time Questions

- Why do you think the bear did that?
- Do you think his friend will be happy? Why?
- What would you do if you were the monkey?
- How do you think Peter can make things better with his friend?
- If the crocodile had decided not to eat the rabbit, how could the story have ended?

## 7. Board Games

Board games are an excellent way to develop problem-solving skills.

## 8. Tic-Tac-Toe

## 9. Classifying and Grouping Activities

- Separate the washing – mom’s clothes, dad’s clothes, etc; or socks, tops, shorts, etc.
- Empty out the cutlery drawer for cleaning, mix all the utensils up and then sort into knives, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc.
- Classify and sort out the toys in your child’s bedroom together – all books, construction toys, soft toys, etc.

Here are more button activities for kids .

## 10. Building a Maze

## Get FREE access to Printable Puzzles, Stories, Activity Packs and more!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

hi maam , This Is Uma from India,Can i get this in pdf format or a book. Thank You

Very very useful content. Good work. Thank you.

Would like to download the free activity pack please.

Hi Kelly, Please download the activity pack on this page: www.empoweredparents.co

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## Problem Solving

## Problem Solving in Primary Maths - the Session

Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Teachers TV

## Cards for Cubes: Problem Solving Activities for Young Children

Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Claire Publications

## Problem solving with EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two children

Quality Assured Category: Computing Publisher: Department for Education

These three resources, from the National Strategies, focus on solving problems.

## Primary mathematics classroom resources

Quality Assured Collection Category: Mathematics Publisher: Association of Teachers of Mathematics

Number Picnic: The problems make ideal starter activities

## GAIM Activities: Practical Problems

Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Nelson Thornes

*Beach Guest House - Booking guests into appropriate rooms in a hotel.

*Design a Table - Involving diagrams, measurements, scale.

## Go Further with Investigations

Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Collins Educational

## Starting Investigations

## NRICH Primary Activities

## Mathematical reasoning: activities for developing thinking skills

Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: SMILE

## Problem Solving 2

Reasoning about numbers, with challenges and simplifications.

Quality Assured Category: Mathematics Publisher: Department for Education

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## Early Years Guide

- School at Home
- Accredited Schools
- Primary Maths Activities
- The School of School Podcast
- Our Programme
- What Is Maths Mastery?
- What Is Singapore Maths?
- Bar Modelling
- Concrete Pictorial Abstract
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## Introduction

- What do we mean by Early Years?
- What does learning look like in the Early Years
- Why is Cognitive Load Theory so important?
- What mastery strategies are available for Early Years?

## What do we mean when we talk about Early Years?

## Areas of learning

The EYFS framework outlines seven areas of learning :

- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Mathematics
- Understanding the world
- Expressive art and design

## Mathematics in EYFS

- Understanding and using numbers
- Calculating simple addition and subtraction problems
- Describing shapes, spaces, and measure

## Revised guidance

The DfE published revised guidance in March 2021 to take effect in September 2021.

The mathematics component now incorporates many elements of the mastery approach.

Specifically, the revised framework says:

## Early Learning Goals

The latest framework has the following early learning goals for mathematics:

Children at the expected level of development will:

- Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number
- Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to five
- Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to five (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts

## Numerical patterns

- Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system
- Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity
- Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally

## Learning in the early years

According to the NCETM, there are:

## Six key areas of mathematical learning

Cardinality and counting, composition.

Looking briefly at each in turn:

Comparing numbers involves knowing which numbers are worth more or less than each other.

## Shape and space

- The one-to-one principle: children must name each object they count and understand there are two groups: the one that has been counted and the one that hasn’t yet been counted
- The stable order principle: children must know how to count in the right order
- The cardinal principle: children need to understand the last number in the set is the total amount
- Counting anything: children need to realise that anything can be counted, not just objects that can be touched, but also things like claps and jumps
- Order of counting doesn’t matter: children need to understand that the order of counting in the set is irrelevant and will still lead to the same amount

## How do children develop counting skills?

## Activities to boost number sense in Reception Year

## Crowd control

## Grouping straws

## Fastest 10 frames

## Everyday questions to develop number sense

Practice using the terms more than, fewer than and as many as by asking:

- Are there more grapes than tomatoes?
- Are there fewer tomatoes than grapes?
- Are there as many plates as people eating?

Remember to practice each sentence:

- There are more grapes than tomatoes
- There are fewer tomatoes than grapes
- There are as many plates as family members eating

## Number Rhymes

- Counting back and counting forward
- “No” or “none” (Five little ducks went swimming one day)
- Counting in pairs (two, four, six, eight, Mary at the cottage gate)
- Counting to five, 10 and beyond

## Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy

## Foundations

## Mark making

## Developing understanding with careful questioning

- I have made a pattern. What’s your pattern?
- How many blocks taller is my model compared to yours?
- How do we know this area is full?
- I have three cars, how many do you have?
- Do you have more?
- How do you know?

## Adding maths talk activities to your daily routine

The following activities can get you started:

## How many children are at school?

- How do we know this 10 frame is full?
- How many children are absent?
- What can you tell me about number seven?

## Sorting and grouping objects as a class

## Vote for a story

## Pattern Awareness

## What is mathematical pattern awareness?

- Shapes with regular features, such as a square or triangles with equal sides and angles, and shapes made with some equally spaced dots
- A repeated sequence: the most common examples are AB sequences, like a red, blue, red blue pattern with cubes. More challenging are ABC or ABB patterns with repeating units like red, green, blue or red, blue, blue
- a growing pattern, such as a staircase with equal steps

## Why is pattern awareness important?

Pattern awareness has been described as early algebraic thinking, which involves:

## Repeating Patterns

## Foundations — Your Reception Solution

## Cognitive Load Theory

## What is Cognitive Load Theory and why is it important?

The answer is simple — new skills demand more attention.

## Working memory

## Intrinsic versus extraneous load

## Supporting the transition to long-term memory

## Focused learning objective

## Activate prior learning

## Present information clearly

## Avoid cognitive overload

## Maths mastery for Early Years

## Early Years and CPA

## C is for concrete

## Spending time with real-life objects

## Early years and number bonds

## How to teach number bonds

## Concrete step

## Pictorial step

## Abstract step

## Early Years and place value

## Progress through concepts systematically

## Use the CPA approach to establish meaning

## Teach the ‘10-ness of 10’

## Progress to 20, then to 40

## Use base 10 blocks for 100 and 1000

## Approach larger numbers the same way

For example, you can identify and complete number patterns or find missing digits on a number line.

And a confident problem solver in maths is a confident problem solver in life.

Well done on making it to the end of our Ultimate Guide to Early Years.

If you’d like to learn more about Early Years, we recommend checking out the following links:

- NCETM: How Early Years children develop mathematical thinking (Podcast)
- NRICH: Early Years Foundation Stage Homepage
- The School of School: Episode 17 Play and early years (Podcast)
- Maths — No Problem! CPA approach

Also, don’t miss our other Ultimate Guides:

- The Maths — No Problem! Ultimate Guide to Maths Mastery
- The Maths — No Problem! Ultimate Guide to Assessment

## School of School Podcast

## Maths — No Problem!

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Modelling maths talk and discussion – language is part of maths learning because talking problems through is vital. Children need to hear specific mathematical

Foundation Stage Problem-Solving Activities: Reasoning and Numeracy EYFS. Mathematics is one of the seven areas of learning defined by the Early Years

Patterns are a great activity for mathematical problem-solving. You can create patterns of any objects that you can find! For example, with pieces of fruit

In Reception, your child will be introduced to numbers and counting, and will start to use basic mathematical language. An interest in maths and problem solving

Mar 25, 2019 - Explore Terresa Walker's board "Problem solving activities" on Pinterest. See more ideas about math activities, preschool math

Mathematics resources for children,parents and teachers to enrich learning. Problems ... Early Years Curriculum ... Year 1 are problem solving this morning.

May 26, 2019 - Explore Hayley Morton Smit's board "Maths Problem Solving activities" on Pinterest. See more ideas about math problem solving, teaching math

Solving Problems in Mathematics · Problem-Solving Strategies and Steps · How to Teach Problem Solving with Questions · 1. Puzzles · 2. Memory games · 3. Building

In this programme shows a group of four upper Key Stage Two children working on a challenging problem; looking at the interior and exterior angles of polygons

The EYFS requires children to be supported in developing their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in a broad range of contexts in