Short Blocks

Maths Reception Summer Shapes and Sorting

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.

Talking about shapes (suggested as 5 days)

Maths Out Loud


  • Using a range of 3-D shapes, build a tower. Count the shapes as they are placed on the tower.
  • If some fall off, practise counting backwards.
  • Start again and continue counting forwards.
  • How many can we get to?

Number Bonds

  • Give each child a piece of Numicon. When I say 3 stand up…When I say 6 stand up… Continue to revise number recognition like this then…
  • Hold up a 4 piece ‘When I say 4…’ Children who have 6 stand up with their piece…. ‘We say 6!’
  • Continue to practise all the number bonds... ‘When I say 8…’ ‘We say 2!’ etc.


London Bridge is falling down
See download for song words.


  • When I Build with Blocks by Niki Alling
  • Let’s build a house: a book about buildings and materials by Mick and Brita Manning and Granström
  • Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk Traditional Tales
  • I spy with My Little Eye…Shapes! by Marian Yiangou

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing

'Shape Mat' (see resources), Construction kits; play-dough, plasticine or blue tac; lolly sticks; plastic or wooden 3-D shapes; play-dough tools; mats; sticky notes; shallow trays of paint, paper; junk modelling e.g. kitchen rolls, boxes (cuboid and cube); masking tape; glue; any embellishing resources e.g. googly eyes, pipe cleaners etc.

Active Learning

'Shape Nets' (see resources); matching plastic/wooden 3-D shapes; shapes made from 'Shape nets' (see resources); shallow paint trays; paint; 'Dice Nets' (see resources); glue/ Sellotape.

Creating and Thinking Critically

'Shape Nets' (see resources); 3-D shapes; 3-D wooden building blocks; 'Challenge Cards' (see resources); everyday packets of different shapes and sizes, e.g. small cereal packets, paper-hankie boxes, spice pots or boxes, etc.; '3-D Shapes and matching Nets' (see resources).