Subitising is a super-important maths skill but is been sadly missing in many children we assess.

Subitising was coined by Piaget and refers to the ability to instantaneously recognise the number of objects in a small group without having to count them. We do this when we play dominoes or regognise the dots on the dice.

Increasingly we are seeing children who cannot recognise small groups of items and therefore they have to count every items each time.


Early maths skills need time to develop. Not spending enough time on “hands-on” manipulatives and lack of experience with making and remaking groups is contributing to shaky basic number concepts.

Subitising skills are essential to basic maths. There is no fast way to accelerate these skills- the kids actually HAVE to see and manipulate materials in groups. or the understanding of concepts such as “five” simply does not develop.

This of course leads to serious problems with all 4 basic maths processes and a marked lack of understanding of number patterns. As PATTERNS are at the heart of all maths understanding, we need to help children who are lacking with these skills.

Here is some excellent extra information:

Many inexpensive ways to teach subitising skills are highlighted in this link. the importance of subitising.

Just a few minutes practice each day will lead to a much deeper understanding of our number system and help children to build a firm foundation for this important area.

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