Sensory Maths Activities for Early Years

There should be no such thing as boring mathematics”
— Edsger Dijkstra

Looking for new and creative ways to engage children in maths? Try our top sensory maths activities and ideas for early years!

Whether you are shopping, baking, telling the time, budgeting or planning a trip, mathematics is an essential life skill which we use throughout everyday life – so it is extremely important to relay a positive attitude towards maths. By building essential maths skills from an early age, it enhances a child’s critical thinking, spatial awareness, problem solving and number sense and helps them learn how to apply mathematics concepts throughout everyday life.

However, we all know how much some children can ‘huff and puff’ when it comes to learning maths! Children only dislike a subject when they find it confusing and intimidating, which is why you need to nurture a love and appreciation for maths through positive and hands-on teaching approaches. A great way to keep children interested and engaged in numeracy lessons is by heightening their senses and incorporating maths into other subjects they enjoy.

Try our alternative hands-on sensory maths learning approaches to excite and delight and make maths fun!

Top 10 Sensory Maths Activities & Ideas:

Illuminated Numbers

Illuminate maths! Children are naturally drawn to glowing objects… Let the little ones sort numbers on a light table to develop their number recognition through visual stimulation. Our textured, transparent silicon silishape dot numbers are perfect for a heightened sensory touch!

Frozen Maths

Sort the numbers before they vanish! Freeze numbers in water to make numbered ice cubes, then ask the children to order the numbers in an ice tray before they melt away. A great way to build their number sense with a sensory touch.

Pop & Add

Add some excitement to maths! The children are sure to enjoy the ‘popping’ sounds that the dice poppers make in our Pop & Add Games. Solve addition problems up to a sum of 20 and help to enhance the children’s problem solving and addition skills.

Hook A Duck   

Save that duck! Incorporate maths with water play using our Duck Fishing Game. Water play is a fantastic sensory activity which adds a big splash of excitement to the children’s learning. Let the children retrieve the numbered ducks from their water table in the correct order to enhance their numeracy skills.

Squishy Hopscotch

Transform your floor into an interactive number game. Everyone knows the classic hopscotch game…but have you tried using Hopscotch Liquid Floor Tiles? These gel floor tiles are a fantastic way to encourage touch and movement, whilst providing an exciting visual stimulation and mathematical factor.

Sensory Bean Bag Toss

Add a sensory touch to the classic bean bag toss game. Simply let the children take it in turns to throw a tactile sensory bean bag at the target. Or why not try the game in a dark den with our UV bean bags for additional visual sensory element.

Number Hunt

Find the numbers! Create a sensory bin using play sand, coloured rice, kidfetti, shells and any other natural or messy play resources you would like to add. Then bury your numbered shells within for an exciting treasure hunt for the children.

Painting By Numbers

Time for some finger painting! Let the children paint numbers using finger paints. This is a fantastic sensory and messy play activity that is sure to engage the children in maths. Use fluorescent finger paints for an additional visual touch.

Textured Shapes

Make numbers real for children through sight and touch. Our Numicon Large Foam Shapes are perfect for getting children engaged in mathematical conversation and problem solving in a hands-on way both inside and outside the classroom.

Tactile Numbers

Learn through touch! Our Number Stones offer a tactile and visual way of introducing children to correct numeral formation. Children will enjoy tracing the shape of each numeral with their finger, building important motor memory skills and their confidence.

Time to get hands-on with maths!

Tip: By having shaped mirrors in your early years setting, it is also a fun way of adding a constant reminder of the primary shapes and encourages mathematical learning.

For more inspiration, take a look at our exciting range of sensory maths resources to enhance your nursery, pre-school or early years setting.

sensory maths resources for early years

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