When Daddy went to wash the car with Finny, leaving Cian inside, Cian was absolutely distraught. Ioan kindly decided to set up an activity to distract Cian. Having seen how much Cian enjoyed their, ‘Two Times Table Shoe Shop‘ and playing games with his number jigsaws, Ioan decided that numbers was the way to go.



When Cian first saw what Ioan had set up for him, he started counting the numbers. Counting is basically the one times table.

When he accidentally knocked the number 9 on to the floor, this then became a game.

What is multiplication?

The basic idea of multiplication is repeated addition. You take one number and add it together a number of times. This is why multiplication is sometimes called “times“.

Example: 4 multiplied by 2 .

4 + 4 = 8. We took the number 4 and added it together 2 times.

In the case of the one times table, the number doesn’t need adding together, as there is only one of each number.

Cian sang the song from Numberblocks, ‘Fun Times One Times Table’, which recites the number sequence out loud as, “One one is one, two ones are two, three ones are three, four ones are four”, etc.

Next, Cian went along the line, standing the numbers above the blocks, until he spotted Daddy through the window, washing the car. Luckily, as he was now happily distracted with Ioan’s number set up, Cian was just happy to see Liam, rather than upset.

Ioan played the Numberblocks song for Cian to sing along to.

Cian was interested in the ‘times sign’. Then he started stacking the blocks on top of each other.

The three started climbing the tree, like in the story ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’, written by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

It is important to know that you can represent numbers in different ways, so Cian could either count the blocks upwards, or, when he lay them down, he could count along them, like a number line.

Cian commented, “It big!” while he examined his tower. When he spotted Liam spraying water, Cian’s favourite part of car washing, it was obvious that Ioan’s activity had worked it’s magic. He was interested to see Daddy work, but not asking to go out and join him.

DfES Early Years Outcomes (2013)


Number – 22 to 36 months

  • Selects a small number of objects from a group when asked, for example, ‘please give me one’, ‘please give me two’.
  • Recites some number names in sequence.
  • Creates and experiments with symbols and marks representing ideas of number.
  • Begins to make comparisons between quantities.

Shape, space and measures – 22 to 36 months

  • Notices simple shapes and patterns in patterns.
  • Beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
  • Begins to use the language of size.