1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Literacy & Numeracy outdoors, help needed!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by michelleh100, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. If its not too late, please could I have a copy too of your outdoor stuff.
    Many thanks..... again!!xx

  2. OK Sent!
  3. hi, could ialso have a copy of the document? Thanks alot
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    <h1><u>Problem Solving, Reasoning
    and <strong style="color:black;background-color:#ffff66;">Numeracy
    in the Great <strong style="color:black;background-color:#a0ffff;">Outdoors[/b]</u>[/b]</h1>
    A miscellany
    of ideas and starting points

    • Milk Bar in the water
      tray &ndash; cloudy water, clear plastic beakers, measuring jugs (Capacity)

    • Track Games &ndash; how
      many footprints from the red cone to the sandtray?

    • Help the &ldquo;Farmer&rdquo;,
      &ldquo;Gardener&rdquo; etc. S/he needs to know how many scoops of grain
      / compost will be needed to fill each bucket (Estimation/ Counting /

    • Plan a Picnic (Estimating
      / costing / sorting / packing food into containers &ndash; shapes of sandwiches

    • Pizza Maths ( Toppings
      shape game / number recognition as players take turns to roll the dice)
      (Making pizzas &ndash; weighing, measuring, size, shape, timing cooking)
      (Delivery Service &ndash; packing pizza boxes into a cart /large box &ndash;
      volume / shape / size / estimating )

    • Picture Frame counts
      (Place a picture frame on a section of open-ground where pebbles/ treasure
      has been buried &ndash; dig, sort, match, count, tessellate etc.)

    • Moving House ( making
      an inventory &ndash; counting, matching, ordering, sorting, volume &ndash; packing
      without leaving spaces)

    • Decorators (How many
      flags will you be able to paint with one bucket of water?)

    • Summer fete role play
      &ndash; (Estimation jars, mystery-prize tombola &ndash; ordering packages by
      size / weight, pricing and selling cakes, knocking down numbered skittles
      and totalling scores, programming Roamer to find where the treasure
      chest is hidden)

    • Totem- Pole Maths
      (The Imaginary forest of wooden poles) &ndash; think about differences in
      size, thickness, increasing in height in multiples of 10cm etc.

    • Exploring big numbers
      &ndash; chalking numerals on bricks to make 100 squares how many 100&rsquo;s
      can we make?

    • Builder&rsquo;s Yard &ndash;
      Can you help George to find out how many bricks he will need to build
      repair his wall?

    • Den-making &ndash; which
      of these pieces of material / tarpaulin will be the right size to make
      a roof for our den?

    • Gardening - Mrs. McGreggor
      will only let her husband have a 2m square of the garden for growing
      vegetables. He wants to grow beans, carrots, potatoes and courgettes
      &ndash; can you help him to measure out his plot and divide it up into four
      sections? (choosing appropriate measures / making decisions about equipment

    • Mrs Wishy-Washy&rsquo;s
      Wash-day Maths &ndash; sorting, weighing clothes, filling the tub &ndash; how
      many buckets of water for washing? How many for rinsing? How many pegs
      for each pair of socks? &ndash; counting in 2s
    • How long will the clothes
      take to dry? How could we measure the time? Folding washing in half
      &ndash; symmetry Delivering clean washing to the neighbours &ndash; house
      numbers (odd side of the street) collecting money, giving change, making
    • Making Tracks &ndash;
      you can only use 5 things to make your stepping stone track, but it
      has to be more than 1m long and it has to have one curve in it.

    • Shapes inside Shapes
      &ndash; how many little circles can you fit inside this large one? (use
      shapes or chalk)

    • Place-value using
      red, green, yellow plastic bricks with laminated numerals. What
      is the largest number you can make using the sequence red, yellow, green?
      Can you build a wall where the 3-digit numbers increase in size as you
      build upwards?

    • Hunt the pebbles &ndash;
      paint numerals on pebbles and hide them in the garden &ndash; children have
      to find them and place them in order (highest to lowest) or sort into
      odd and even, etc.
    the <strong style="color:black;background-color:#a0ffff;">Outdoors

    It is important that children
    experience mathematical activities <strong style="color:black;background-color:#a0ffff;">outdoors
    as well as in. Some of these
    activities can be done with the whole class; others are more suitable
    for using with small groups.[/b]

    Hide a set of interesting objects
    (e.g. pretend jewels) around your outdoor area, then take the children
    on a hunt to find them. After a set amount of time, meet back together
    to talk about the &lsquo;treasure&rsquo;.

    Questions could include:

    • How might you count
      your jewels?
    • How many jewels have
      you found?
    • How can you be sure
      you have counted all of the jewels? Could you check in a different way?
    • Who has collected
      the most / least? How do you know?
    • How could we sort
      the jewels?

    • NUMBER
    Hide a set of wooden numerals
    or number cards (one per child). The children have to find a number,
    bring it back to an agreed point and then arrange themselves in order.
    As a variation, they could place the numbers along a number line (either
    chalk the line or use a skipping rope &ndash; label the ends 0 and 10).

    Questions could include:

    • Which number will
      go before 7 / after 3?
    • Hold up your number
      if it is less than 5.
    • Show on your fingers
      a number between 4 and 8.
    • Which is the largest
      number on the line? How do you know?
    • I&rsquo;m thinking of
      a number. My number has a straight line at the top. Which numbers on
      the line might I be thinking of?

    Provide children with different
    resources to practise writing numerals. These could include large paintbrushes
    and buckets of water, chalk, paint (to use on large rolls of wallpaper).
    Numerals could also be traced in sand/talc or made out of playdoh/pieces
    of string. Children should work on a large as well as a small scale.
    Also providing children with access to clipboards and paper outside
    will encourage them to record any mathematical work they are doing.

    • SHAPE
    Hide a set of shapes (2D or 3D
    &ndash; these could be plastic shapes or collected ones). Place a hoop on
    the ground for the children to place the shapes in when they have been
    found. Discuss the shapes that have been found and try out different
    ways of sorting them. Draw sets on the playground and write labels according
    to the children&rsquo;s suggestions.

    Questions could include:

    • What can you tell
      me about this shape?
    • How do you know this
      is a square?
    • How do you know this
      shape is not a square?
    • I&rsquo;m thinking of
      a shape. It has 3 corners. Can you see the shape I might be thinking
    • What is the same /
      different about these two shapes?
    • How could we sort
      these shapes?
    • Why does this shape
      belong in that group?
    • Why doesn&rsquo;t this
      shape belong?

    Provide a range
    of materials for children to use to make repeating patterns. These could
    include objects for printing or objects to be arranged e.g.

    • dip old shoes with
      different patterned soles into water and print a pattern on the playground
    • paint old tyres with
      paint and print a pattern on large sheets of paper
    • use small apparatus
      &ndash; skipping ropes, quoits, bean bags etc &ndash; and arrange in a pattern
      on the playground
    • collect natural materials
      &ndash; sticks, pebbles, leaves etc- and make a repeating pattern around
      the edge of the playground.
    • use fingers / tools
      (feathers, combs, cotton reels, glue spreaders etc) to make patterns
      in wet sand
    • use people to make
      a pattern e.g stand, stand, sit

    The children stand in a circle,
    holding a large domino. Ask them to perform various actions depending
    on the domino being held.

    Instructions might be:

    • Swap places if your
      domino has 7 spots.
    • Stand in the middle
      if your domino has more than 6 spots.
    • Sit down if your domino
      has less than 4 spots.
    • Turn around if your
      domino doesn&rsquo;t have 5 spots.
    • Hop across the circle
      if your domino has between 4 and 7 spots.

    • FIND
    Chalk numbers on the playground
    or stick number cards to the wall. There should be three or four copies
    of each number. Ask a question or give an instruction. The children
    have to stand by an appropriate number. Ask the children to explain
    their reasoning.

    Questions/instructions could

    • Which number is one
      more than 6?
    • Stand by a number
      that is smaller than 4.
    • Find a number that
      comes between 5 and 8.
    • This is the number
      of toes you have.
    • What is double 3?
    • Why did you choose
      that number?

    • GET
    Draw some large shapes on the
    playground. The children move about until they hear a drum beat. This
    is the signal to stand in a shape. Repeat asking different questions
    each time or giving different instructions (e.g. there must be three
    people in each shape, there must be 8 hands in each shape).

    Questions could include:

    • How many people are
      in your shape? How could you count them? How could you check?
    • Which shape has the
      most / fewest people in?
    • How many ears/feet/fingers
      in your shape? How did you count them? Can anyone think of a quicker
    • How many groups of
      3 can we make? How many children are left over?

    • SAND
      / WATER
    Put the sand and water trays
    outside for the children to use (less mess to worry about too!). Activities
    could include:

    • digging for wooden
      numerals in the sand (place in order)
    • using a sieve to &lsquo;fish&rsquo;
      for milk bottle tops floating in the water (Who has caught the most
      / least?)
    • using different shaped
      moulds in wet sand to make &lsquo;pies&rsquo;.
    • experimenting with
      emptying and filling different sized and shaped containers (order them
      according to how much they hold)
    • using a squeezy bottle
      to make jets of water (How far can you make a jet travel? Alter the
      angle to make the jet travel further)
    • making a &lsquo;cake&rsquo;
      in the sand using different sized spoons, cups and jugs to &lsquo;measure&rsquo;
      out the sand.
    • hunting / fishing
      for shapes and sorting them into sets

    • BALL
    Use a variety of balls, beanbags
    and quoits to practise counting and estimating skills.

    Tasks could include:

    • Count how many times
      your partner can catch a ball without dropping it.
    • Predict how many times
      you can bounce and catch a ball in a minute.
    • Can you and a partner
      roll a ball 20 times between you in a minute?
    • Who can throw and
      catch a ball in the air the most times without dropping it?

    • NUMBER
    Use floor tiles to make a number
    track or chalk a number line on the playground. Use the track / line
    for a variety of activities. You could also ask the children to make
    their own tracks and lines outside.

    • Swap over some of
      the numbers and the children have to work out which have been moved
    • Hop to 10 using right
      and left legs e.g. 6 hops on the right leg and 4 hops on the left leg
    • Choose a large domino
      and find the total number of spots. Place the domino on the corresponding
      number on the line. Can you cover all of the numbers? Which number has
      the most dominoes on it?
    • Roll two large dice
      and find the total. Place one of your colour beanbags on the number
      on the line. Play with a partner to see who can cover the most numbers
      (there can only be one beanbag on a number).
    • Throw a large die
      and double the number. Place a beanbag on the answer. Repeat several
      times. What do you notice about the numbers that are covered?
    • Mark out a number
      track or line but don&rsquo;t write on the numbers. Children choose a wooden
      numeral and place it correctly.

    • MAKING
    The children need to be in small
    groups and each group needs a large loop of ribbon. The children hold
    the ribbon and experiment making different shapes. Questions could include:

    • What can you tell
      me about the shape you have made?
    • How many different
      triangles can you make? How do you know the shape you have made is a
    • Can you make a shape
      with 4 corners? All of the sides must be different lengths.

    Games could include:

    • Hoopla &ndash; throw 5
      beanbags towards a hoop and score one point for every beanbag that lands
      in it (extend the game by placing a bucket inside the hoop &ndash; score
      two points for a beanbag in the bucket and one point for a beanbag in
      the hoop).
    • Skittles &ndash; throw
      2 balls to try to knock down 6 skittles &ndash; score a point for every
      skittle knocked down (make the scoring more difficult by numbering each
    • Target &ndash; draw a
      number of shapes on a wall &ndash; throw a ball against the wall and score
      a point each time a shape is hit (change the scoring system by writing
      a number in each shape).
    Encourage the children to record
    their scores in some way e.g. by using numerals or tally marks or by
    drawing pictures.

    Measure the length of the playground
    / how far from the door to the gate / how far around the grassy area:

    • using footsteps (giant/fairy)
    • by putting people
      in a line touching hands
    • by laying out skipping
      ropes / lengths of ribbon / paintbrushes
    Lie on a large piece of paper
    and ask a partner to draw round your body outline. Dip your hand in
    paint and use handprints to measure:

    • how many handprints
      tall you are
    • how many handprints
      long your leg is
    • how many handprints
      fit on your body
    See how many children can fit:

    • on a rug (lying down)
    • in a hoop (sitting
    • in a &lsquo;blob&rsquo; drawn
      on the playground with chalk (standing up). Can you draw a &lsquo;blob&rsquo;
      that exactly 7 children will fit in?
    Compare how far two objects travel.
    This could include:

    • rolling two different
      cars down the same slope
    • rolling two identical
      cars down different slopes (e.g. make one slope out of a piece of cardboard
      and the other out of a piece of sandpaper)
    • rolling two different
      balls down a path
    • throwing a beanbag
      or javelin (a soft one!)
    All of these activities provide
    the opportunity to discuss the difficulties with the use of non-standard

    Provide opportunities for the
    children to build a range of structures using boxes/bricks (different
    shapes and sizes) and other available materials. The children could
    choose what to construct or be given a set task e.g. a den that at least
    four children can fit inside, a bridge that stretches from the door
    to the fence. Use the structures to discuss the properties of different
    3-D shapes.

    Questions could include:

    • What are you planning?
    • Do you think you have
      all the shapes you need?
    • Which shapes are the
      best for building? Why?
    • Why do you think your
      tower fell down?
    • How could you make
      the bridge longer?
    • Describe how you made
      your &lsquo;den&rsquo;.

    • ROUTES
    Provide a range of opportunities
    for children to hear and use words describing position, direction and

    Tasks could include:

    • drawing a track on
      the playground (right-angled turns only) and giving a partner directions
      to move from the start of the track to the end (your partner could close
      their eyes to make this more difficult).
    • laying out a number
      of pieces of apparatus and giving instructions to move through the obstacle
      course e.g. go between the cones, over the bench and under the bar.
      (The children could also make up their own sequence of actions and then
      give instructions to others).
    • pretending to be a
      robot and asking the children to give you directions to pick up a box
      placed on the other side of the playground.
    • playing a game of
      &lsquo;Simon Says&rsquo; e.g. Simon says stand opposite your partner / stand
      between the benches / hop on your left foot / run around the outside
      of the playground

    Lay a skipping rope on the ground
    to represent the mirror line. Two children stand opposite each other
    on either side of the rope (imagining they are looking in a mirror).
    One child makes a shape and the other child makes the reflection. Increase
    the difficulty by allowing movements. The children could also make a
    symmetrical pattern by laying out objects on either side of the mirror

    Take photos of the shapes/patterns
    to record the children&rsquo;s work.

    • SOUNDS
    Have an object that makes a clear
    sound e.g. a drum, a puppet that squeaks, coins dropped into a cup

    The children count the sounds
    (making the sounds in an irregular rhythm makes the counting more difficult).

    Some ways of response are suggested

    • the children jump
      or hop the same number of times
    • they get into groups
      of that number
    • they collect that
      many beanbags or markers (place these around the playground)
    • they put the same
      number of feet in a hoop (place hoops at regular intervals around the
      playground &ndash; children can put one or two feet into it).

    Explore different ways of partitioning
    the number six.

    Activities could include:

    • arranging 6 children
      onto 2 mats (4 on one mat and 2 on the other)
    • throwing 6 beanbags
      towards a hoop (1 in the hoop and 5 outside)
    • knocking down 6 skittles
      (3 down and 3 still standing)
    • throwing two large
      foam dice and trying to score 6
    • putting 6 spots on
      a ladybird (2 spots on one side and 4 on the other) - draw a large ladybird
      on the playground with chalk and use quoits as the spots.
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    &bull; Dressing up - outfits and pieces of material to allow for imagination
    &bull; Prop boxes to encourage role-play could include a hat box, a hospital box, a Minibeast box, an explorer's box, resources to set up a caf&eacute;, market stall, garden centre, builders' merchants, car boot sale (role play related to outdoors) etc.
    &bull; Washing line with selection of letters for phonic games. The simple idea of two broom handles in cemented buckets works brilliantly!
    &bull; Large rolls of paper
    &bull; Thick chalks (for writing on the ground)
    &bull; Chalk boards/white boards
    &bull; Selection of mark making materials
    &bull; Book box and story telling area
    &bull; Felt pens, sticks - different sizes of brushes
    &bull; Writing table, clipboards, pencils, pens, notebooks, coloured paper, lined paper, envelopes, labels, post-its, etc.
    &bull; Words laminated and hanging from trees, or hidden which children can use for word search games
    &bull; Signs, symbols, logos
    &bull; Amphitheatre providing opportunities for the children to &lsquo;perform' to each other
    &bull; Mobile phones
    &bull; Paint brushes and large buckets of coloured water
    &bull; Large lettered dice, one with only vowels, and two others with consonants to develop knowledge of CVC words
    &bull; Camps, dens and hidey holes

  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    &bull; Large number tiles to 20
    &bull; Large numbers in tens to 100
    &bull; Number lines painted on the ground in snake format and in hopscotch format
    &bull; Large Domino games
    &bull; Washing line with small numbers
    &bull; Numbered wheeled vehicles, each linked to parking bays
    &bull; Large clock face
    &bull; Sand timer
    &bull; Maths trail, i.e. a succession of lift the flap cards; first one with a ? , lift the flap and see, for example, 6 - 4 =, the child then has to find the card with 2 , lift that flap and read the next question and so on until the child has finished the trail
    &bull; A balance with different sized buckets to use in sand and earth
    &bull; Target board
    &bull; Shapes drawn on the wall, ground in various colours
    &bull; Numbered fence posts/targets
    &bull; Trundle wheels, long stick or builders measure
    &bull; Large dice
    &bull; Shop role-play resources, including till, real money, and price tickets
    &bull; Counting games - hide and seek, rhymes, ring games
    &bull; Items hidden in environment to develop positional language
    Natural materials for counting, solving etc. e.g. pebbles, shells, cones

  7. Ahh, sorry just seen it-- my computer wouldn't show me it before I sent message!!! Thanks so much am reading now!
  8. Have sent but made redundant i think after MSZ posting, good to read !
  9. Hey I'm the porson who started the thread but not had chance to reply, I'd love a copy my address is: michelleh100@hotmail.com
  10. Hi Could you send me a copy of the numeracy outdoors doc? So sorry to bother you! Maybe you should post it in resource section of the site! Thank you.
  11. Hi,
    I know you're inundated with requests but I too would be grateful for a copy as we are struggling to raise maths standards in FSP profile outcomes especially calculating as are probably most of the country! Many thanks,

    My e.mail address is: cctalisoncole@hotmail.co.uk
  12. I would love a copy too. Returning to Reception in September after 7 years and our outdoors is where we need to focus.


Share This Page