Play-based Maths Activities Using Your NooK Play Sofa

Play-based maths activities using your NooK play sofa

When you think of maths, what comes to mind? It’s most likely sums!

But maths is more than 1+1. In fact, it’s often called the ‘language of the universe’ because knowledge of maths helps us understand so much about the world around us. Maths is everywhere… even if you don’t realise it.

Play-based maths activities are an excellent way to teach maths skills to children of all ages. How do you teach maths through play?

Building a cubby and needing to find a sheet big enough for the roof? Maths!

Creating a curvy train track? Maths!

Making a symmetrical tower with blocks? You guessed it…maths!

Maths and play are a match made in heaven. These hands-on examples help young children to understand the concepts and build connections to formal curriculum learning as they progress through their education.

Curious about how to play with maths? We share six play-based maths activities that you can easily try at home with your NooK Play Sofa.

Counting money

How much does an ice cream cost at the NooK corner shop?

This NooK Junior allows for the perfect ice cream stand, bakery or toyshop. And there’s no better way to learn about money than by using it in a play-based maths activity.

You can use Monopoly or play money to pay for items and give change. Even for younger children when you’re doing the numbers, it’s still teaching them important money skills.

Playing shops is also a great setting to teach how to use a calculator. Show your child how to enter the prices into the calculator and use the different buttons.

Measuring length

How far can you jump on the NooK long jump?

Position your NooK cushions in the hallway to create a long jump runway. Run towards it and jump as far as you can. The maths comes in when you measure how far you’ve jumped!

To measure, you can use formal units of measurements – e.g. centimetres – or informal units of measurement – e.g. steps. To add to the fun, try guestimating your jump before measuring! Use your bolsters to measure, or add in some Hive cushions for more jumping games!

To take it up a notch, start a long jump competition. Then the kids can calculate their best jump or compare their scores to their siblings.

Measuring weight

How can you make the NooK scales balance?

Exploring weight is a fantastic example of maths without numbers. You can create a scale with the NooK by placing a rectangular bolster on top of a triangular back cushion or use an Arch for ultimate balancing! A balance scale teaches children that size doesn’t equal weight. Bigger items can be much lighter than something smaller.

While creating the scale, you can also point out the different NooK shapes you’re using – i.e. rectangles and triangles – for some bonus learning.

Measuring time: complete the obstacle course

How fast can you complete the NooK obstacle course?

The perfect rainy day activity, obstacle courses help to burn off a lot of energy!

The brief is simple… create an obstacle course using different pieces from your NooK and then complete the course while being timed with a stopwatch. As with the long jump activity, you can do the course multiple times and invite the kids to work out which was the fastest time. Which was fastest and which was slowest?

Once you’ve done the obstacle course a few times, add in additional challenges or other playroom essentials to make it harder. Now the course will take longer and you can start comparing times again.

Position and 3D shapes

How do the NooK shapes come together in a build?

NooK builds require more than muscle. You’re actually using your maths brain to determine which shapes are required and in which position. You’re doing maths through play without even being aware of it.

Knowing how to flip or turn which shape and understanding the position of each cushion is tricky. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage the kids to describe the positions of objects relative to each other, such as ‘on top’, ‘next to’ or ‘inside’.

Measuring area

How big is the NooK cubby?

If you pop a roof on your next NooK cubby house, you can explore and measure the area of the cubby. Use silks or sheets of different sizes and determine which is the right size to serve as the roof of the cubby. The Den doorways will give you an easy entry and exit while you experiment!

This is a good opportunity to introduce some mathematical vocabulary into your play. For example, you could say to your child “I’m trying to find the right silk to create a roof on this cubby. I tried the yellow silk but it’s about an arm’s length too small. Can you find one that’s approximately double the size to cover this area?”

Maths and more

Incorporating play-based maths activities into your daily play is super simple with a NooK! From maths skills to gross motor skills and everything in between, the NooK Play Sofa was designed to be both fun and functional.

Discover the range of NooK Extensions to take your play – and your maths – to the next level.

About the Author

Lisa is a qualified teacher working at a school for students with additional needs. She is the mama of a wonderful and wild 5 year old. She loves day trips, weekends away, and good coffee. Lisa is passionate about educational play! She has a ginormous drawer full of bits and pieces that ‘will come in handy one day’, which she uses to set up simple and fun craft activities.


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