Sometimes the best maths EYFS activities are the most simple. I have set up this activity with children aged 2, 3, 4 and 5 years old and they love it!
Firstly, collect a selection of natural resources with the children. These resources will be the items in the shop, pinecones, sticks, conkers, acorns, leaves, wild flowers and such like. The children can then group the items and count how many they have of each. This activity is a great for mathematical language as well as the children being involved in the setting up of the activity. When children are involved in the whole process of an activity, it allows them to have better understanding and be far more engaged and interested. It even ticks the boxes for EYFS targets such as using language for quantities and using numbers accurately in play while also boosting their imagination and roleplay skills.
Wood chippings or stones are great resources to use as money at the shop, an item could cost ‘3 stones’ for example. As the adult it is important to model the correct mathematical language and ask questions like, “if I took two of your chocolate sticks away, how many would I have left to buy?”. This is a simple way to introduce subtraction and adding but in a fun and informal way.