7 fun ways to help your kid love Primary 1 maths

Work with number patterns

Children should be able to complete basic number patterns like 1, 2, 3, _, _, 6.

Add and subtract To transit successfully into P1 from K2, your child should be familiar with these concepts

They will have to:

Work with single and double digits

Following examples are : 2+3 = 5 and 12+8 = 20.

Draw number bonds up to 10 While P1 pupils will learn how to build addition bonds up to 9+9, preschoolers would do well to know how to draw number bonds that add up to 10 by the end of K2, advises Patricia, who cites examples such as 1 and 9, 2 and 8, 7 and 3 that make up 10. “Some preschools may not cover number bonds,” she notes.

Multiply and divide The MOE maths syllabus states that P1 pupils will learn multiplication as repeated addition within 40; and division of a quantity no greater than 20, into equal sets.

Understanding of multiplication and division would also be helpful but not essential, we suggests that children about to start P1 be at least familiar with multiplication and division of 2 and 3, more in terms of understanding the concepts than actually memorising the times table.

Know the basic shapes

As an entry point, it would be useful for your child to be able to identify the four shapes in 2-D: square, circle, rectangle and triangle. P1 pupils will be introduced later to making or completing patterns according to one or two of the following attributes: shape, size or colour.

Compare sizes, height, length and weight

A P1 child will be working with measurement and comparison of length and mass. They will also learn to differentiate the orientation of objects, whether they are facing right or left, or pointing up or down.

7 ways to help your kid learn maths in a fun way at home

Kids learn best when teaching is done with real life examples or scenarios.

1. Take your kid supermarket shopping

When you’re shopping with your child, count the number of items in the trolley. Let her add the numbers when you need someone to add the bill while checking it at the restaurant.

2. Read fun books about maths

Read books on maths to spur her interest in numbers. One book we recommend would be A Very Improbable Story: A Math Adventure by Edward Einhorn and Adam Gustavson. It’s more important to get her to understand what it means rather than how it’s done.

3. Use puzzles to introduce number patterns

Introduce puzzles like sudoku for kids and IQ questions – those that challenge their spatial, mathematical, visualisation, analytical, classification, logic and pattern recognition abilities.

4. Draw comics to understand problem sums

Allow them to draw comics (when working out) different problem sums. It gives the questions meaning and adds fun to the exercise.

5. Create songs to remember multiplication

Preschool teachers often create their own songs or rhymes that their pupils sing to. You can make up some number songs and sing them, too.

6. Use props to teach division

This might be a bit tricky, as they might not even understand the concept. Using props would be best. For example, using chocolates, you could ask your child: ‘If I have 4 pieces of chocolates, how many pieces should each of us have if I were to share them equally between the 2 of us?”

7. Practise with a weighing scale to teach mass

They should be able to understand the meanings of ‘longer than’ and ‘shorter than’. Many P1 pupils have problems with mass and reading the weighing scale. Buy a weighing scale and practise using it.


P1 children will need to tell and write time to the hour and half hour, excluding the 24-hour clock. So have your kid wear a non-digital watch. My mother taught me (how to read) the clock by constantly asking me the time. We were taught to say ‘15 minutes past 3’ or ‘a quarter to 4’.


Your child will need to tell the amount of money in cents up to $1, in dollars up to $100. Allow him to carry loose change and get him to buy the newspapers or sweets. Point out price tags while shopping, and explain the importance of money.

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