Year 1 & 2

Here are some games, investigations and activities we think are particularly good for children in Year 1 and 2.

Some of these tasks may appear on other year group pages too. These tasks are open-ended and the children can learn a lot from exploring them.  These types of activities are used a lot in the classroom as children have the same starting point but can take their thinking in lots of different directions.  Some children may need extra prompts and support to guide their thinking.

[Last update 20 June 2020]

In addition to the table below, there are more general links on this Additional Links Page. A link for those who would like to contribute or suggest resources is on the main Primary page.

Year group Theme/Description Activity Type
Maths content
Task Summary Printer Adult You will need
Y 2, 3 Robot Monsters Investigation
Systematic thinking/height
Combine different heads, bodies and legs to make monsters that fit a given height criteria. Yes No scissors, paper to record on
Y1 Y2 Y3 Wipeout Game
Addition Fluency
Roll the dice and be the first to bank 30 points. No You need a partner to play with 1 die, paper, pencil
R Y1 The Mars Mission: Landing and Exploring Making parachutes Practical/DT
Size, shape, position, direction
Testing parachutes and try to land a toy rover on a pretend Martian surface. No Yes Plastic bag, paper, fabric, string, sellotape, lego brick, scissors
R Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Pavement Chalk Designs Drawing
Mark out a rectangle on the pavement using masking tape. Use tape to make sections within the rectangle. Colour in the sections to create a design. No Yes for younger children Masking Tape, chalks, ruler or measuring tape
R Y1 Y2 Foot Parade Cutting Sticking
Number bonds to 10
Make a sequence of animal cards so that the total number of feet is 10. Yes An adult will be needed to set the activity up Piece of paper, glue stick, scissors, print out of animal cards or pens for drawing animals.
R Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Count on me Investigation
Counting on fingers/systematic working
How many ways can you show each number from 1 to 5 on 1 hand or 2 hands No Yes Fingers
Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Dice Games Game
Number fact fluency
Make sets of dice that add up to 10. Set different target numbers for a challenge. No Yes for younger children Up to 10 dice
Y1 Y2 Emoji Graph Investigation
Make a graph
Make a scale for the graph eg. Cute to not cute. Put emojis or other pictures along the graph to order them. No An adult will be needed to set the activity up Piece of paper, ruler and pens
R Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Pick Up Leaves Outdoor activity
Pick up leaves or other items on a walk, sort them in different ways when you get home. No Yes Items collected on a walk
R Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 Y6 Shape Origami Investigating shapes
2D shapes
Investigation what shapes you can make by folding paper in different ways No An adult will be needed to set the activity up Pieces of paper for folding
Y1 Y2 Sum Turnover Game
Calculation and strategy skills
Roll dice and turn over the same total on numbers cards. No You need a partner to play with 2 dice, playing cards or make your own cards 1-9.
Y1 Y2 Connect 4 Game
Addition and Subtraction
Roll the dice and, depending on which game you are playing, add or subtract. If you get 4 in a line you win. Yes but you could also hand draw the grids You need a partner to play with 2 dice, 2 differet coloured pencils, a printed connect 4 grid
Y2 Strike it Out Game
Calculating the difference or sum
Cross out numbers using the sum or difference. The winner is the person who stops their opponent from being able to move. No – though you could print number lines 0-20 for ease You need a partner to play with paper and pen/pencil
Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Make 30 Number fact fluency game
Pairs of numbers to total 30
An adult initially sets up a 5 by 5 grid with number bonds to 30. The child has to try and find the mystery number which doesn’t have a number that adds with it to make 30. No You need a partner to play with Pen, paper, counters (or small objects)
Y2, Y3, Y4 From Here To There Game
Adding and taking away 10; adding and subtracting 1, 2, 3 or 4
Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 No You need a partner to play with Paper and pencil, Deck of cards, counter or coin
Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6 The Tower of 40 Number fact fluency game
Addition, subtraction, multiplcation and division facts
Make a gameboard with two digit numbers. Turn over two cards and chose whether to add, subtract multiply or divide to cross a number off on the board. No You need a partner to play with Paper and pencil, Deck of cards, counter or coin
R, Y1, Y2, Y3 Make a Ten Memory Number fact fluency game
Adding digits 0 to 10
Sort out cards to make 10 pairs of cards that total 10. Turn them over and make a 4 by 5 grid with the cards. Turn over two cards, keep them if they are a bond to 10. No You need a partner to play with Deck of cards
R, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6 Lego Barrier Game Activity
3D Shape matching using verbal instructions
You and your partner have the same lego pieces. One person builds a shape and then describes it to the other person so they hopefully build a shape that matches. No You need a partner to play with Hard books to make a barrier, Lego.
R, Y1 Number Snake Number fact fluency game
Ordering numbers 1 to 10
Put numbers 1 to 10 in order on invisible number line. No You need a partner to play with Deck of cards – cards used are 1 to 10.