Looking for EYFS maths ideas for your space topic? How about making a small world area with the focus on mathematical problem solving?

## To complete this EYFS maths activity you will need:

• Tuff tray, table or other suitable surface. This could be covered in foil or fabric.
• Sand
• Stones (moon rock)
• Tin foil
• Metal bowls
• Toy rockets, astronauts (e.g. lego or playmobil people) etc.
• Polystyrene balls covered in foil. (asteroids)
• Weighing equipment
• Glass gems
• Numbers on stars, moons, rockets or similar
• Bun tins
• Metal effect cake cases

Make sure you risk assess any small objects (e.g. glass gems) and use your professional judgement in deciding which items are appropriate for your setting.

Small world play is rich in opportunities for problem solving activities; here are just a few ideas:

• Counting and sorting objects (people, asteroids, moon rock etc.)
• Addition and subtraction using objects
• Sharing and grouping objects
• Reading numerals and matching to quantities of objects
• Positional language (e.g. The astronaut is in front of the rocket.”)
• Ordering “asteroids” by size or weight
• Weighing sand, rocks etc.

To encourage mathematical thinking, try using these questions to spark the children’s ideas!

• How could you sort these …?
• Can you find this many (show number)…?
• Can you put these in order?
• How many different… can you find?
• What would happen if…?

Record the children’s learning using a camera or tablet, and encourage them to use mark making equipment to record their ideas and observations.

## Learning Outcomes

ELG12 Maths – Space, Shape and Measures:
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

## This post was written by Sam Collins

Sam teaches in Devon, and has over 20 years experience in primary education teaching Early Years, KS1 and KS2.