#9 Shapes and Numbers

Weekly challenge #9 –numbers and shapes

1)      Can you go on a shape hunt? – First, draw out some simple shapes on paper – square, rectangle, triangle etc. Talk about the shapes together, ‘what is special about this shape?’ ‘How is that one different? Then, using the shapes drawn on the paper if needed, look around your house/garden/park/neighbourhood and see how many examples of each shape you can find – these might be things you can pick up, or things you have to just point at! (This can be extended to 3D shapes, using more detailed language to describe pointy angles or curvy faces etc.

If recognising shapes is too hard, you can start with a colour sorting game (see attachment).

2)      Number recognition – to help with learning to recognise numbers, labelling children’s toys with different numbers can create a very simple game. This could be numbering teddies and their different beds, cars and their parking spaces, or even just sorting blocks into boxes. See this excellent video from Linden Children’s Centre Facebook for an example using diggers and parking spaces: https://www.facebook.com/173465379363646/videos/805657319841350/

3)      Make your own hopscotch! Either using masking tape indoors, or chalk outside, hopscotch is great for recognising numbers, counting, and physical exercise! It doesn’t have to be the traditional 10 squares, experiment with different shapes, numbers and even special instructions!



Cooking together is a great way of using maths language, to talk about ‘more’, choosing the best size mixing bowl or baking tray, measuring spoonfuls, cups, as well as on weighing scales. You don’t have to be Mary Berry – as with most things in early years, the process is more important than the end product!! Please see attached 3 sugar-free recipes!


Sun exposure and vitamin D, Hackney Wild Walks for children families and practitioners!

Following the government guidance stating that (from last week) we can now take unlimited exercise in outdoor spaces (where social distancing can be undertaken), here is an update from Best Start with HENRY service and Hackney Physical Literacy Programme


Are you Getting Enough Vitamin D? 

Last week was Sun Awareness week when typically the temperature increases and more people are out enjoying what the warm weather brings. The Sun Awareness campaign raises awareness of skin cancer and the dangers of sunburns and excessive tanning. However, staying away from the sun altogether is not recommended as we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure around late March/early April to the end of September.


To reduce the risk of Vitamin D deficiency Public Health England (PHE) advises the following groups to take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms (ug) all year around:

- Breastfed babies

- Children age 1-4 years (taking less than 500ml of formula milk)

- High risk people (darker skin, covered up, old and isolated)

For the rest of the population it is recommended that a daily supplement containing 10ug are taken between October to March.

Small amounts of vitamin D are found in some food however, this is not sufficient enough to meet the daily recommended intake.


Lack of vitamin D

The ‘sunshine vitamin’ helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are important to keep bones, teeth and muscle health and a lack of vitamin D can cause rickets (condition affecting bone development in children) that can lead to bone deformities. Osteomalacia or brittle bones can be seen in adults. Find information about accessing FREE vitamins  here


Getting out and about-Hackney Wild walks

Hackney Wild Walks - have made special walking guides for children and their parents and carers. The aim of the walks is to get young children interested in exploring Hackney on foot, and encourage them to be more active. Adults will enjoy and benefit from the adventures too. Find walking maps Haggerston to HoxtonHackney Marshes and Kingsmead and Woodberry Down and West Reservoir here.