You are here

Mathematics Through Play in the Early Years

Mathematics Through Play in the Early Years

Second Edition

172 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

'This is a very welcome book. Kate Tucker is an enthusiast, with lots of experience in teaching young children, and in thinking about how best they should learn math.' 
Nursery World

Teaching mathematics to young children in creative ways is made easy with this second edition of a wonderful book, which offers the reader clear advice and lots of exciting ideas to use in any early years setting.

By showing how to introduce mathematical concepts through play-based activities, this book is in tune with current thinking about best practice in teaching, and with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and current Numeracy strategy.

New material includes:

  • an additional chapter on creative recording
  • a whole new chapter on ways to involve parents
  • discussion of policy throughout the UK
  • more on using ICT
  • case studies covering the whole birth to eight age range

Essential reading for any practitioner who wants to develop their mathematics teaching, this book is equally important for all trainee teachers and early years students.


Why Play?
Creating and Using a Mathematical Environment
Creative Recording and Mathematical Graphics
Counting and Using Number
Shape and Space
Planning, Organizing and Assessing Independent Play
Parents as Partners: Involving Parents in Mathematics and Play

'This second edition, fully updated in line with the EYFS, has been written to help practitioners to create playful contexts to support children's independent mathematical play and learning. It provides ideas and activities but also guides the reader to sources of further information to consolidate their own subject knowledge of mathematics...The emphasis in the text and in the examples provided in this well-illustrated, informative and very practical book is on children aged from four to eight years old. This makes Mathematics Through Play in the Early Years particularly useful for students and teachers of children in Reception classes and at Key Stage 1' -
Early Years Update

Praise for the first edition:

'This is a very welcome book. Kate Tucker is an enthusiast, with lots of experience in teaching young children, and in thinking about how best they should learn maths' - Nursery World

Lots of practical advice, examples and ideas from the classroom which helps our students to plan and deliver mathematical activities in early years settings.

Dr Richard Newton
School of Education, Oxford Brookes University
October 22, 2014

Good background on the role of play in the learning maths; a neglected aspect of play

Mr Freda Rockliffe
School of Education, Roehampton University
January 29, 2014

The text provides a useful review of theory and practical ideas that can be implemented within the EYFS. A must read for students and experienced teachers with an interest in developing mathematics in the EYFS.

Mr Manish Kothari
Department of Education, St Mary's University College
October 25, 2013

This was interesting to read and was creative in the ideas and concepts discussed, the book, for ITE students, was useful for those students keen to follow the path for a maths leader in schools. It gave plenty of examples and would be a useful read for ,maths practitioners from the Early Years through to Key Stage 1.

Ms Jane Noble
Early years and primary, Institute of Education
July 16, 2013

This text supports Early Years Teachers understanding of how to stage the play environment for maths. This is key to promote a love of maths and to further childrens understanding.

Mrs Nikki Fairchild
Childhood Studies : Early Years, Chichester University
July 11, 2013

Super cross-curricular feel well suited to Early Years. I like the descriptions of the work of particular children. Nice page layout and reasonable size font - occasionally a bit list orientated.

Miss Caroline Rickard
Department of Education, Chichester University
December 3, 2012

Super resource for my students studying childcare. Many thanks

Mrs Donna O'Connor
EYCYP, NWRC Strabane Campus
October 31, 2012

This book provides a user-friendly set of resources for teachers in early childhood teaching numeracy. This book is adopted as a recommended text both in the numeracy and pedagogy modules, to accompany and complement more theoretical texts.

Dr Emma Pearson
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education, Univ Brunei Darussalam
May 20, 2012

easy to read text, supporting and developing students knowledge and practical application of mathematics with young children

Mrs Julie Brierley
Scarborough School of Education, Hull University
October 18, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters


Kate Tucker

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.