Maths Reception Autumn Understanding Number

Hamilton's Reception Maths planning targets the key characteristics of effective early learning:

  • Through Exploring and Playing, children independently engage with their peers and their environment.
  • Active Learning group activities promote the motivation needed to be involved and to keep trying.
  • Guided Creating and Thinking Critically supports development of problem-solving & reasoning skills.

Maths Out Loud: whole-class counting, repetitive chants, rhymes, songs and a linked story to enjoy together.

Counting and naming numerals (suggested as 5 days)

Maths Out Loud


With all the children, count from 1 to 20 in unison. When you say ‘five’, children wave one hand in the air. When you all say ‘ten’, they wave a second hand in the air. Then they put their hands down and continue counting. When you say, ‘fifteen’, they wave one hand in the air, and when you say ‘twenty’, they wave both hands in the air.

Repeat this, counting again to twenty in the same way.

Repeat several times.

You will notice that children who are unsure about the sequence of numbers, all join in on the multiples of 5. These act as ‘markers’ where everyone can be saying the same number enthusiastically!

This counting as a large group is an essential prerequisite for all the activities in this Unit.


Sing ‘One Man Went to Mow’. You could learn and sing along with this animated version of One Man Went to Mow from


Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno.

When reading this, make the most of all the different ways in which each number may be found. This book repays several readings, both to a group and individually or in pairs.

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing

A large glove puppet; Number cards 1-10 (see resources); lots of small objects; spotty dice 1-6; see-through plastic bags; Lego bricks; dotty number cards 1-10 (see resources); 10 small soft toys; a basket or box; Number cards (see resources).

Active Learning

Number cards 1-10 (see resources); Fortune Teller template (see resources); crayons and felt-tip pens; 10 bowls of natural objects around the room, e.g. bowls of 7 conkers, 4 pine cones, 3 flowers, 8 pebbles, 5 leaves, 2 shells, 6 feathers, etc.; safety pins; counters.

Creating and Thinking Critically

Small shells/dinosaurs/figures/plastic animals, etc.; Number cards 1-10 (see resources); small animals; animal pens; Lego/Duplo; sticky notes; chalk.