25+ Outdoor Maths Books, Packs, Downloads and Videos

27 December 2017 · 0 comments

in 10 Outdoor Ideas Series, Book Reviews, Early Years Outdoors, Maths Outdoors

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On a number of occasions in the Outdoor Maths in Primary and Early Years Facebook group, queries have been made about books and resources that exist about outdoor maths. Thus it seemed to make good sense to put these into a blog post for anyone to access. It would be helpful, if you know of others, to get in touch so that the list is kept up-to-date.

Please note – this blog post is for information and awareness-raising so that you know what is out there to support your outdoor maths work. It is not a recommended reading list or set of resources. Use your professional judgement to decide whether a resource is fit for purpose.


1. Messy Maths: A playful, outdoor approach for early years  Published in 2017 – suitable for those who work with 3-6yr olds. For personal commentary about the book and hopefully any questions you may have are answered in this blog post. Many of the suggestions apply to all ages but it has been written with the early years as the target age range.

2. Developing Young Children’s Mathematical Learning Outdoors Published in 2017 – suitable for early years. Written by curriculum and maths consultant, Lynda Keith, this books provides a rationale for maths outdoors particularly in the context of the different curricula of the UK and Northern Ireland. It focuses on approaches linked to specific zones within your outdoor space such as bike play or in the mud kitchen.

3. Developing Early Maths Skills Outdoors  Published in 2015 – suitable for early years. This book has been less widely-publicised and is part of a series by Marianne Sargent, which focus on literacy, science and maths outside. She has recently created a website and started to blog. Have a look here.

4. 50 Fantastic Ideas for Outdoor Maths Published in 2013 – suitable for early years. Kirsteen Beeley is a prolific early years Featherstone author. This is one of several outdoor books she has written.

5. The Little Book of Maths Outdoors Published in 2013 – suitable for early years. I feel the title is slightly misleading. Terry Gould has provided lots of ideas for games that can happen outside to reinforce maths but it’s not a comprehensive book. The illustrations are lovely and generally the feedback on Amazon UK is positive.

6. Maths Outdoors Published in 2005 – suitable for early years. This book was written in 2005 by Carole Skinner and for many years it was the core book to read. Hopefully in due course an updated version will be written.

7. Maths Outside the Classroom Published in 2011 – suitable for all primary. This book is written by the Devonshire Maths team and has over 50 outdoor activities. It’s got some good ideas.

8. Mathematics in the School Grounds Published in 1993 – suitable for all primary. This is a really dated book but in many ways the first one published about using maths outside. There’s lots of sensible advice and information and it would be brilliant if the publishers could do a 2nd edition that is up-to-date.

9. Math on the Move – Engaging students in whole body learning Published in 2016 – suitable for all primary, particularly upper. This book is not intended as an outdoor maths book but the concept works well in the playground. Malke Rosenfeld, developed the approach based upon her professional dance career. She has an excellent website, Math in Your Feet, where you can view videos.

10. Go Teach Outdoors – KS1 and Go Teach Outdoors – KS2 Published 2017. These books provide a set of lessons in maths and English at each level. Owing to the price tag, I haven’t purchased.

Downloads and websites

11. NCEM has a dedicated section to outdoor maths suggestions across a variety of contexts and ages groups.

12. The Smart Happy Project  A lovely website dedicated to maths and nature for children. Enjoy. Be inspired.

13. Learning through Landscapes maths downloads Published as and when, suitable for many age ranges from early years to early secondary. 

For many years, this national UK school grounds charity have produced lesson plans and ideas to help you with maths outside. Most are free to download, but some require you to be a member, which is less than £15 per year.

14. Twinkl Published as and when, suitable for many age ranges from early years to early secondary

Recently Twinkl have produced more outdoor plans and activities which include maths outside. Use the search engine to narrow down to what you are looking for.

15. Woodland Maths Trail – OWLS  This pack written by Amanda Findlay pre-dates Curriculum for Excellence – a quick glance at the levels suggests plenty for upper primary teachers (Level D is to be achieved by the end of Primary 7). Oh and it’s a free download.

16. Wild About Learning – An Outdoor Literacy and Numeracy Pack for Years 1-6. Clear photos and illustrations and a range of suggested activities for each year group. Free to download, 90 pages (yay!)

17. Wildtime Learning – Free collection of resources, many very simple and doable in a range of subjects. Use the filter to find the maths suggestions.

18. RSPB Outdoor Numeracy Resources. Mainly for KS2 . Limited range but worth a quick look. Free

Commercial packs

19. Thinking Child – Over 100 Ideas for Outdoor Numeracy Published in 2012 – suitable for all primary. This digital download is super for those who like structured lessons to follow. The suggestions are doable in a school playground. This is one that I show on my courses as it’s very different to my approach and therefore complements and extends what I do nicely.

20. Outdoor Maths Problem Solving Cards Produced by TTS there is one pack per primary stage including Foundation. Each pack has 50 activities.

21. Maths Playground Markings Activity Cards

30 cards with suggested maths activities using playground markings. Created by Steven Humble, aka Dr Maths.

PE and Movement Maths

There are now commercial resources which focus specifically on PE type of games to help children learn maths concepts. These can be easily adapted

22. Leicestershire have a free handout, of PE and numeracy links

23. Tagtiv8  is a  company specialising in maths and literacy active games

24. Maths of the Day  This website-based resource is available for an annual subscription of £595 +VAT. As a result, I’ve not checked it out. It appears to be a PE-based approach to maths and covers all primary ages.


The Middleton Park Primary videos are useful in that they show how working collaboratively between classes can be an effective approach to raising attainment.

Messy Outdoor Maths – Blush – I’m caught on camera 🙂 – this is an example of my maths workshops.

Margaret Travers Outdoor Maths – An example of her training day – various good points made.

Check out YouTube for lots of PE-based maths ideas too.


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