Incorporating numeracy skills development into everyday life

Jul 2012
Cooking is also a great way to introduce measurements.

Numeracy skills can be incorporated into everyday life in a number of ways. Highlighting the fact that numbers are all around us will help children make the link between maths and its application to real-life scenarios.

Below are just a few ways that you can help children develop competencies in numeracy as part of their everyday routine.

Handling money
Children can use supermarket receipts to develop a number of skills. Parents can ask them to choose a few items from the receipt to add up using written methods, before asking them to calculate the change that they would get from 5, 10 or 20 using this total.

Alternatively, children could be encouraged to look at price labels in local shops or supermarkets and to create the amount using a selection of coins with denominations up to 5, depending on their ability. This will promote their partitioning and place value skills.

Weights and measures
During the summer, children could enhance their knowledge of capacity by estimating how much water is needed to fill a bucket or paddling pool. Children can make these estimates using standard measures (ml/l in the form of a measuring jug) or non-standard measures (such as an egg cup/small plastic cup). They can then see if their estimate matches the actual amount they needed.

Cooking is also a great way to introduce measurements. Parents may want to support children in measuring out ingredients and reading a scale.

Data handling
A survey of your local area is a great way of introducing children to data handling. As an example, children could complete a survey of the different modes of transport (car, bike, motorbike, van) that pass by your home and record this in the form of a tally chart. They can then turn this information into a bar chart or pictogram, before using the data to solve a problem such as 'do we need more bike racks in our street?'