Evaluate how planned activities support children’s emergent mathematical development in relation to current frameworks

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 3.6: Develop emergent mathematical skills of children
Learning outcome: Be able to review how planned activities support children’s emergent mathematical development
Assessment criteria: Evaluate how planned activities support children’s emergent mathematical development in relation to current frameworks


It is essential for early years settings to provide effective planned activities that support children’s emergent mathematical development. An understanding of the current frameworks, such as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), can help to inform how we can best do this. In this blog post, we will explore how planned activities can be used in early years settings to support children’s emergent mathematical development.

The EYFS is a statutory framework which provides guidance for all practitioners working with children from birth to five years old. The framework states that “children should develop their understanding of the world through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and natural and man-made environments” (DfE, 2017). This means that practitioners should provide a range of experiences which allow children to explore mathematical concepts through play activities. Through these experiences, children can begin to develop an appreciation for mathematics.


When planning activities it is important to consider the individual needs and interests of each child within your setting. For example, if you have identified that a child enjoys exploring shapes then you could plan an activity which encourages them to explore shapes further using various materials such as blocks or patterned paper. This helps the child build upon their existing knowledge while gaining a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts such as shape recognition and pattern making. You could also use this opportunity to extend learning by introducing new materials such as counters or number cards which encourage counting skills or matching activities which introduce problem solving skills.

A key element when providing planned activities is providing opportunities for discussion between adults and children about what has been explored during the activity. This allows adults to assess where each child is at in terms of their mathematical development and can identify areas where additional support may be required or new challenges introduced according to their individual needs and interests (Nursery World, 2021). Encouraging language around mathematics will help promote understanding in terms of vocabulary related to numbers, shapes and sizes and will help build upon existing knowledge while introducing more complex ideas where appropriate.


In conclusion, it is clear that when planning activities in early years settings there are many factors that must be taken into consideration in order to effectively support children’s emergent mathematical development. Understanding current frameworks such as the EYFS provides guidance on how best this can be achieved while considering individual needs and interests allows us as practitioners to tailor our activities accordingly so they are meaningful for each child within our care. Through this we can ensure our young learners have access to varied experiences which will help them gain an appreciation for mathematics during their formative years.

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