London, June 18 : If you want to improve your child's mathematical skills, just ask him or her to help you in the kitchen.
According to Chancellor of Leicester University Sir Peter Williams, everyday household activities such as cooking can help in improving a child's maths skills at an early age.
The suggestion comes after a review carried out by Williams of the subject in primary schools to change England's "can't do attitude" to maths.
Nearly one in four 11-year-olds starts secondary school without reaching the standard expected of their age. More than half of teenagers also fail to get five good GCSEs, including maths and English.
The government also urged parents to encourage their kids to learn maths through everyday household activities such as cooking.
Williams said that every child should be able to master the basics by the age of seven - and leave primary school "without a fear of maths".
The report states: "Early years settings should ensure that sufficient time is given to mathematical discussion around practical activities such as play with vehicles outside, cooking, shopping and constructing. To be effective, mathematical learning for children in this age group needs to be predominantly social in nature and rooted in these play activities."
Cooking at home can help children understand numeracy.
However, it is believed that the proposals will be "too much, too young" for toddlers, for some childminders may misunderstand the latest guidance as an edict to drill children in basic arithmetic at a young age.
The report also suggests that nursery staff and childminders should persuade children to write and draw, helping them to develop their "mathematical marking" skills.
For instance, if children randomly draw 10 symbols on a piece of paper, teachers should ensure they understand the numerical content of the picture.