Numeracy Stage: 4 – 5 years old

By the time they are 5 years old, children should be able to:

Number Sense

  • count verbally to 20 or beyond
  • provide the next number in sequence (between 1-10)
  • count out 10 – 20 objects accurately
  • identify the numbers 1-10
  • write some numerals (up to 10 or beyond) and connect each to a counted object
  • recognize and name the number of items in a set of five
  • make a collection with the same number as another collection
  • name parts of any whole up to 5, or the whole given the parts

Comparing and Ordering

  • use comparative language (more, less, same) to compare collections up to 10
  • recognize when a collection with a larger quantity of objects is made up of smaller objects
  • order three to six objects by one attribute (e.g. size, shape, colour)

Basic Operations

  • find results for joining (adding) and taking away (subtracting) by using concrete objects and counting them all

Algebraic Thinking (Patterns and Relations)

  • understand that, when adding three numbers, it does not matter which two were adding first


  • align two objects to determine which one is longer or if they are both the same length
  • measure with a ruler (although may not fully understand what to do or exactly how to do it)
  • put several shapes together to make part of a picture

Data Analysis

  • sort objects by one attribute (e.g. size, colour, shape)

Geometry (Shapes)

  • recognize and compare most familiar shapes (triangles, circles, rectangles, squares)
  • name some three-dimensional (3D) shapes (cubes, spheres, pyramids)
  • combine simple shapes to form larger shapes (can use tangrams for this)
  • recognize sides and angles for some distinct geometric objects

Spatial Sense

  • identify positions of objects by positional words (beside, inside, next to, above, below, under)
  • use and respond to positional words