Short Blocks

Maths Reception Spring Shapes

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.

Explore and play with 3-D shapes (suggested as 5 days)

Maths Out Loud


  • Tape a 3-D shape (cube, cuboid, cone, sphere, pyramid or cylinder) to a child’s back.
  • Turn them round so that the class is looking at their back.
  • Ask children to describe the shape WITHOUT using its name.
  • Can the child guess what shape it is?
  • Repeat with other shapes and other children.


Incey Wincey Spider. The classic song/nursery rhyme.

3-D shapes. A rhyme to support recognition of 3-D shapes all around us.


Walter’s Wonderful Web by Tim Hopgood

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh (2-D shapes)

Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong (2-D shapes but shapes found in the environment that could be converted to 3-D shapes)

Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes by Stuart J Murphy (specific to 3-D shapes; you decide whether the storyline is appropriate)

You Will Need

Exploring and Playing

Paint; plastic/wooden 3-D shapes, e.g. cube, cuboid, pyramids, prisms, cone and cylinder); trays; junk modelling items in different shapes e.g. cube/ cuboid boxes, kitchen rolls; masking tape; scissors; sticky labels, pens; tuff spot or sand tray; play sand; play-dough or salt dough; selection of 3-D shapes.

Active learning

Large cube; sticky-tack; cuboid; cone; everyday 3-D shaped objects (cube, cone, cuboid and cylinder); set of triangles; set of squares; set of circles; set of rectangles; selection of 3-D shapes; pennies; construction materials e.g. Knex™ or Magnetico™; card; Cone and Cylinder templates (see resources); glue; sellotape.

Creating and Thinking Critically

Large selection of 3-D shapes of different sizes and colours; 2 hoops; pieces of paper for labels; bag, pennies; A2 paper; ‘Carroll diagram’ (see resources for example); ‘Faces table’ (see resources).