Short Blocks

Maths Reception Autumn How many?

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.

Count how many; match one-to-one (suggested as 5 days)

Maths Out Loud


Hold up your right thumb (left as the children see it), palms facing you. Count in ones, holding up one finger with each number until the little finger, saying 5 louder and waving the hand. Continue on 2nd hand, stressing ten and waving both hands as you do so. Repeat twice, asking children to join in.

Hang cards 1 to 10 on a washing line. Make a soft toy rabbit count in ones along the line, emphasising 5 and 10. Repeat, so that more children join in. Children hold up fingers one at a time to match the numbers as they count.


Sing a rhyme which counts back from 10 to 0, e.g. 10 fat sausages sizzling in the pan, one went POP and the other went BANG! See an animated example of 10 Fat Sausages from Ten children could pretend to be the sausages.

Afterwards, the 10 children stand up and everyone shouts 10! One sits down, all shout 9, and so on until all children are sat down, all shout ZERO.


Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett.

Count all the animals that have frightened the monkeys off the pages!

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing

Play-dough; rolling pin; wooden cubes/multi-link; number cards 1-10; counting objects e.g. shells/ beads/counters/stones (matched to a class theme?); ~10 cups/small bowls; small figures/ animals/ pebbles/ vehicles/ jewels; coloured card as counting mats; pens; sticky notes; Flapjack recipe and ingredients (see resources); cups; spoon.

Active Learning

Open bread basket/box; 10 soft toys or teddies; masking tape; paper; 1-10 cards (see resources); whiteboards; large spotty dice; pens; number tiles 1 – 8; big bricks and bikes or scooters.

Creating and Thinking Critically

Set of six tins/small boxes/small bags or pouches; animals on printed sticky labels (see resources); small pebbles/stones/beads; number cards 1-6 (see resources); nets of numbered boxes (see resources); felt pens; ‘precious’ objects e.g. beads/ marbles/conkers/Lego; glue/tape; set of dominoes per pair; soft toys, plates, cups, plastic knives, forks, spoons; some cakes and squash to complete the tea party!