For many years, increasing stress has been placed on the importance of giving the under-sevens a good start in mathematics. Originally published in 1991, Mathematics for Young Children shows how children as young as four and five and of all abilities can be encouraged to carry out their own mathematical explorations whilst covering the content of a prescribed curriculum.

A substantial part of the book is taken up with actual case-studies of children working with Marion Bird in a reception classroom, fully illustrated with examples of the children’s work. These case-studies are then analysed to show how a prescribed syllabus can be effectively covered through an investigational approach: a point which is of paramount importance to teachers concerned with the introduction of the National Curriculum. The role of the teacher, too, is examined carefully in order to identify those parts of a teacher’s repertoire which seems to be particularly fruitful in encouraging young children’s active mathematical thinking. Throughout, readers are encouraged to apply and amend ideas to suit their own particular circumstances.

part I|16 pages

Setting the Scene

chapter 1|9 pages

Some Questions

chapter 2|5 pages

Some Background Details

part II|64 pages


chapter 3|13 pages

Circle Arrangements

chapter 4|13 pages

Six by Six Squares

chapter 5|8 pages

Number Squares

chapter 6|10 pages

Christmas Trees

chapter 7|11 pages

Plates of Biscuits

chapter 8|7 pages

A Stick of Cubes

part III|88 pages


chapter 9|26 pages

The Mathematics

chapter 10|11 pages

The Children's Initiatives

chapter 11|47 pages

The Teacher's Role

chapter |3 pages

In Conclusion: Why?