Count and Sort Posting Box Maths Game

Make a fun posting box resource for early counting and sorting skills with the added benefit of fine motor practise and problem solving too! The enduring appeal of dropping and posting through holes will make this a real favourite game with toddlers to school age kids, with possibilities to extend the learning for the older age group.
Welcome to another Playful Maths activity, part of an on-going early learning series co-hosted with Debs from Learn with play at Home. This week we are looking at ways to use bottle tops and lids to make simple maths games with young children. See her fantastic bottle top addition game here!
For this activity we used a range of jar lids and bottle tops in various diameters and thicknesses. We sorted these into groups by size then I covered the front of each group with matching colours, using paper and a glue stick. 
Using a craft knife I then cut slots into the base of a shoe box and made them to fit the size and width of each group of lids. Then I cut some pieces from the leftover paper and stuck them around each hole as an indicator of which one belonged where. I wrote the corresponding number of lids next to each colour slot, ready for the girls to find them and count them in as they posted them. I deliberately used the numbers 1-5 to keep it simple but this could easily be extended to larger teen numbers and beyond (if you have enough bottle tops!)

 As with our previous maths games they fought over who got to play with this first, with baby Bean muscling her way in and sitting on top of the whole thing! Cakie immediately sorted all the tops by colour and then counted out how many there were of each, placing them in order from 1 to 5. She then went on to post them in the correct numerical order and counted using 1:1 correspondence as she posted each one through the correctly coloured slots.

Pop also sorted the lids by colour but wasn’t as interested in how many there were of each and didn’t start at number 1. She quickly matched the correctly coloured lids to the slots and posted them through, counting out as she did so, although she did need reminding to be slow and count 1:1. It was a great activity for her as she had to think about how to rotate the lids to make them fit, thus strengthening her little wrists and hands as she did so.
Baby was delighted to have a go and tried very hard to get the lids into the holes, occasionally managing it all by herself! It won’t be long until she can master it too.

What they are learning as they play:
maths: recognising numerals, matching by colour and size, comparing and ordering by size, counting using 1:1 correspondence, counting up to 5 objects reliably, problem solving, making things fit
physical: fine motor dexterity, baby grip, twisting and rotating objects, posting and dropping

phse: concentration, perseverance, problem solving, co-operation, completing a task

Join us both every week for our continuing series about

See our Pinterest board of ideas here!

Check out some of our other posts from this series:




Never miss a play idea again! Sign up to have all posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner
Join us on The Imagination Tree facebook page for daily play ideas and conversation with the early years community!


  1. says

    Another great idea. Maths is not my strong suit so I need all the help I can get when it comes to counting and helping my little boy, thanks for this idea, you could use different shaped boxes too with slots of all the sides.

  2. says

    I love that BOTH my kids would love and benefit from this activity. I’m going to have to start collecting other sizes of lids though as all we seem to have are all those same plastic ones. Another great, fun playful maths activity. x

  3. Anonymous says

    With no ωatering the roots of a tree it iѕ futile
    to be exреcting it to grow and giѵe uѕ lusсiοus fгuitѕ, сolorful flowers etc.
    Thesе items are traԁitіonally viewed in
    all vaгiations of hοmes, evеn individuals that are not meant to be ‘green’.
    A сomplеte gгain breakfаѕt of old-fashioned oatmeal with almonds (grіnd them
    up to hide them, if necessаry) wіll maintain a
    child way a bit longer than orange juice anԁ
    a bagel.

    Feel free to vіsit my site pizza stones for sale uk

  4. says

    I love all this math series. This an easy way to teach kids. I have tried with that imaginary three technique you have posted. My little one enjoyed it a lot. Thumbs up for the great effort.

  5. says

    I accede using math games not only improves the ability of students to solve complex math problem but also sharpen their brain and improves their creativity level and responsiveness.