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Maths would appear to be one of those subjects that you can either do, or you can't, some love it whilst other hate it. Marcus de Sautoy is Professor of Maths at Oxford University, he LOVES maths and he's brilliant at it! He is one of those people who can explain really complex ideas in ways that ordinary people can begin to understand. In 2006, he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, bringing accessible maths to an audience of school aged children.
In one of his TV documentaries, de Sautoy distilled maths into a single, basic concept - the study of patterns. Our ability to discover patterns (whether in abstract numerical groups or physical real world objects) leads us to being able to solve problems, a fundamental reason for learnbing maths. While we usually think of maths as the adding and subtracting of numbers, numbers merely act a labels to more abstract concepts.
Of course, this is a vast oversimplification of maths, but it's premise is in fact and not fiction.
EYFS 2012 introduced Mathematics as one of the 'Specific Areas', breaking down further into Numeracy and Shapes, space and measures. While the specific areas are aimed at older and more develeoped children, you can be sowing the seed for good numeracy early on by encouraging that great foundation of maths - pattern recognition. Babies can learn and spot patterns from a very early age and evidence suggests that stimulating these skills early on will assist numeracy skills during their early years.
Play games that encourage pattern matching such as pairing cards, playing memory games, grouping items into 'classes' and counting items in collections. All of this will encourage cognitive development that will assist numeracy in their early years.
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