The importance of fingers in maths learning

Bunny ears

Follow this link for interesting research on the use of fingers in maths development:

Perceiving fingers in single-digit arithmetic problems

This study found that finger use was an important factor in developing connections between numeral quantities and symbolic representations, as well as giving support for making sense of calculations.

Jo Boaler refers to this research in the article, Why kid should use their fingers in math class:

“Teachers should celebrate and encourage finger use among younger learners and enable learners of any age to strengthen this brain capacity through finger counting and use.”

Look in the Early Years Support Package for lots of ideas on using fingers in class, such as Bunny Ears – one of my favourites!

Finger Patterns

Jo Boaler also gives great ideas for activities using fingers on:


Have a look at these ideas:

YouCubed finger patterns2YouCubed finger patterns

It would be great to hear comments on your experience of using fingers in maths and numeracy learning – please comment or email me on if you’d like to share!

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