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Maths – It’s never too early to start!

Maths – It’s never too early to start!

Best Buddies blog

Best Buddies blog

Welcome back to my
October Issue!

Play is the best way in which children absorb information and gives them an opportunity to explore their surroundings, investigate, recreate and come to understand their world and is an activity in which everything that a child knows and can do is practised or used to make sense of a situation.

Role of the Parent:

The way children play can greatly be influenced by their parents and those around them. Sourcing materials for play and encouraging kids to explore new ideas all need to come from an adult. You are not supposed to tell the child how to play or what to play with, but you can support them and enhance their playing experience.

 Maths through Play:


For most of us maths was difficult, something we didn’t understand and work too difficult to do. Playing on the other hand was something that came naturally, we loved and spent hours enjoying. The secret is to connect both of these together and make maths fun, exciting and easy to understand.

In reality young children are learning maths all the time through a wide variety of play experiences. From birth, babies are already surrounded by sense impressions. Shapes in particular are of great importance and babies automatically begin to identify the arrangement of shapes which make up their parents faces.

Maths in the Home:

Maths is everywhere in and around your home. With the support of parents, children can comprehend various mathematical concepts through their play.

Physical Examples:

Before a child can understand numbers for things that can be seen for example 5 metres, or someone is 2 years old or it is 6pm, they needs physical objects that they can see and touch to check that the count is correct every time.


There are so many examples of math being used on a daily basis for example:

● Learning about money when they go shopping with parents.
● Become aware of numbers as they count the stairs to bed.
● Start to understand the concept of time as they become familiar with the routine of their day:
   (wake up, get dressed, having breakfast, leaving for school etc.)

A child’s daily life offers many practical opportunities to learn about numbers, shapes, space, sorting and matching.

For instance:

  • Setting places at the table – a cup for me, a cup for you.
  • Playing with water.
  • Steering the pram.
  • Helping to sort the washing, matching socks, big shirt / small shirt.
  • Tidying up – putting similar items together.
  • Matching lids to saucepans.

Here are a few ways in which you can use play to learn mathematical concepts: 

Sand, containers and Water

  • Using sand can develop mathematical concepts and language, e.g. heavy, light, empty, full, big, small.
  • Seeing how much water a jug will hold.
  • Making different shapes and patterns.
  • Providing boxes and materials of different shapes and sizes to compare weight and amount.
  • Look at the differences between wet and dry as a means of looking at weights.


You can help to promote mathematical language such as – heavy, light, empty, full, long, short, big, small in relevant contexts.

Look at your home environment to develop language, especially positional words – small object in front of big object, behind, in, on.


The use of dough can help to develop a mathematical understanding for pre-school children.

  • Develops mathematical language – short, long, fat, thin.
  • Make shapes of different dimensions – flat shapes, 3-D shapes.
  • Create opportunities to compare things that float with things that sink to the bottom.

Imaginitave Play

  • Simple activities like letting your child set the table for dinner can help develop counting skills, e.g. getting out three pieces of cutlery. How many adults and how many kids to set for.
  • Include your child when you are busy with household duties. After you have done your washing, allow your child to sort clothes into different colours, or different types of clothes, e.g. t-shirts and socks. This will help to develop their knowledge of shapes and colours.

Books and Rhymes

  • Enjoy stories and rhymes with your child that has a mathematical element, e.g. “One-two, Buckle my
    Shoe”, “Hickory dickory dock.”
  • This can also help to develop literacy skills by showing your child that the print reads from left to right.
  • Let your child count out items in the books – how many animals are on the page, how many items are blue.
  • Using rhymes can also help develop your Child’s awareness of sequencing.

Physical Play

  • Develop fine motor skills through physical activity, e.g. sorting out puzzle pieces or stringing beads to make a necklace.
  • Block play or playing with toy cars can be used to encourage your child to sequence according to size, colour, and use (e.g. bike, car, truck, train.)
  • Playing with different sized blocks can help to develop an understanding of weight and dimensions.
  • Cleaning up and packing away toys lets children sort them into different sizes and colours.
  • It can also develop mathematical language – first, second, third, how many are a certain colour, which item is the biggest / smallest.


  • By planting seeds you can help to develop your child’s understanding of time and the life cycle of plants.
  • Watch as the plants grow and even measure your plant – develop language such as taller.
  • Teach your child about the different seasons and plant different items at different times of the year to compare colours, flowers, smells.

There are many opportunities for learning Maths through Play. Just have a look around, use your imagination and most importantly have fun exploring with you little one.

Now for another easy, quick recipe idea:

Grilled Cheese Waffle


1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 slices sourdough bread
2 slices Cheddar cheese
3/4 c. shredded cheese of your choice

Cooking spray


Everybody loves a grilled cheese sandwich. We just changed the bread to waffles. A whole new look on an old favourite!


In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and butter.

Arrange the bread in a single layer on a work surface.

Spread mayonnaise mixture onto the top side of each slice.

Flip two slices of the bread, so it’s mayonnaise mixture side down.

Top each bread with a slice of cheese of your choice, and half the cheddar cheese.

Sandwich with the remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side up.

Heat a waffle iron over medium heat.

Grease waffle iron with cooking spray.

Carefully, add one sandwich to the waffle iron.

Close waffle iron, and cook until cheese is melted and the bread is golden, about 3 minutes.

Remove carefully and repeat with the remaining sandwich.

Thank you for joining me. I hope this was another informative, fun and healthy recipe idea. Watch this space, I will be writing another blog soon!

Our Sponsors

Cape Town

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Lizl Zandberg

Lizl is our friendly Administration Assistant and helps in the Penguins Class. Without this wonderful Best Buddies team-member , daily tasks would become a challenge.

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Cubs Class

Ages: 3 months - 1 year

In the Cub Class your baby will be stimulated according to his /
her age and according to your preferred schedule. There will be
ample time for sleeping, socializing and exploring this new and
wonderful world your baby is still adapting to.

Our environment is secure, kept clean and sanitized throughout
and will provide your little one with the utmost comfort.

Activities offered

• Tummy time play
• Sensory bottles and sensory bags
• Textured hula-hoops
• Ball pit
• Educational Toys
• Story time
• Music ring


Non-Refundable registration fee of R400
Deposit equal to one month of R2000
Monthly fee of R2000

Parents to Supply

  • Nappies.
  • Formula & bottles if applicable.
  • 1x complete set of clean clothes

Bunnies Class

Ages: 2 -3 years

In the Bunnies Class we provide an emotionally supportive
environment to optimize your child’s full potential. We strongly
focus on each child’s physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and
motor development needs while strengthening their
independence and communication skills.

Activities offered

 Class lesson and art activity according to weekly theme
• Free play (Indoor & outdoor)
• Educational Toys
• Story time
• Music ring
• Extramural activities offered: Manners for Minors / Playball / Karate / Dancing


Non-Refundable registration fee of R400
Deposit equal to one month of R3500 / R2500
Monthly Fee of R3500 full day / R2500 half day.

Parents to Supply

A bottle with water/ juice/milk according to your child’s preference
Comfort toy if applicable.
1x complete set of clean clothes