Finn: “I have been to pre-school to play with mine friends. Now I am home, please can we play learning? We could play numbers? Mummy, do you know what three 2’s and one 3 makes?” While I’m trying to work out the answer.. “It’s 9 because it’s three of me, three 3’s!”


  • Mathematical Intelligence Sticks


Finn is obsessed with addition and can usually just ‘see’ the answer. I set out this first sum and he shouted out ’10’ before he’d even reached the table. I’m encouraging him to check his answers by working them out.

I find it fascinating that when I ask him a question, he often answers it before I’ve had chance to work it out myself. I got him these ‘intelligence sticks’ for Christmas so he can demonstrate his thought process. There is the added bonus that he also enjoys setting out the sums underneath.

The sticks were rolling off the table, so Finn ran off excitedly, “It OK, I got a idea!” I heard him rummaging in amongst the excess recycling from Christmas. He returned with a Cadbury’s Fingers tray which kept them in place perfectly. “Ta-da! See, problem solved!”

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.