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I want to develop a resource box (ideas, games, objects) that could be used outside. It will be for the nursery and reception class (and proabably Year 1 too). I have started to collect some ideas and we are planning to do some playground painting soon to incorporate mathematical development, but I thought I would tap into everyone's wonderfully creative minds here, to see what ideas come up/ what others have already done.


I am aware that the box resources will need to be changed depending on topic/interest, but I planned to have a 'core' resource box, that has things for adult initiated open ended activitiesand also child initiated activities.


Thanks, Marie

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Hi Marie, We have hollowed out shapes for the sand tray - you can use them to make solids, hide a shape, others then dig it out and name it. We made skittles from empty plastic milk bottles and weighted them down with a bit of sand. They can be numbered or have shapes, different sizes of the same shape on them. Can be used in small groups to knock down a given thing, or say what they have knocked down. Chalk to write on ground. We have paving slabs in our outdoor area, in Sept to check on numeral recognition and ordering skills we chalked 0-10 randomly on some slabs. The children then jumped on them and said the numeral, then tried to jump on them in order. They loved it! Found a nice one somewhere on web recently for positional language with hoops. Set them out on ground and ask children to travel around them forwards, backwards, sideways. Put one foot, two feet, three parts of your body into a hoop, then same for a given coloured hoop. Sorry, this reads like a ramble now, dinner awaits. Hope the ideas are of some use!


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There are soo many things you can do that it's hard to say where to start - you can really take anything outside.

Some of the other things we do are:-

tallying on a blackboard/whiteboard to record scores in ball games

putting objects in sand/water tray for sorting

washing line and number cards or spot cards for sequencing

number tiles

hunting for shapes in the environment

construction with solid shapes

lucky dip - fish out two numbers and find the total (can be with numerals, with handfuls of unifix etc etc)

measuring with parts of the body, with non-standard units, or with trundle wheel

looking for patterns in the environment and taking rubbings

all sorts of art activities - printing number lines, creating patterns, making pictures with shapes etc

investigating capacity in sand and water trays

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Hi Marie,

I've just done some work with my LEA on Maths boxes we covered the following themes:- Pirates (emphasis on shape, position) Growing things(measurement) walls, floors and fences ( numbers, games involving scoring and calculating, sequencing, recording) Washing outdoors ( size, pairs, counting) Balls and small equipment ( counting, size, scoring) I'm sure there were more but my mind's drawn a blank - hope these help.

June :)

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Mind's gone blank but definitely a couple of children friendly tape measures - numbered hop scotch mat from IKEA with a couple of bean bags, those lovely plastic/rubber fish from the NES Arnold catalogue, about £4.00 - you get about 20 in total can be used for matching numbers if you permanent marker their "bottoms", large spirit level from a car boot sale can be used as a ruler/measure, numbered bean bags - have multiple uses - a measuring wheel on a stick. Mind's really gone blank now - have fun - its always lovely choosing new things!


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