Wooden number slices for counting and maths play
To make these you simply need a large quantity to small, wooden discs that have been cut from a medium thickness branch. These can be cut with a saw- be careful! You can also cheat like I did and buy the natural wooden discs ready to go, as these types of wooden materials have become very popular for wedding receptions so there are plenty of sellers around!
We found ours here [Amazon affiliate link]
Then simply write onto them with a black permanent marker pen. Done!
You can choose to add a layer of varnish over the top as a sealant too, which is a good idea for helping them to last as long as possible.
I made this set of number resources primarily for my youngest two (who are currently 4 and nearly 2) , so the numbers range from 1-20.
For older kids I would extend the numbers all the way up to 100 so that they can be used for a wider variety of games and calculations, including on a 100 square. I am planning to make bigger set soon for this purpose and will post again with some age appropriate ways to use them.
Once made, simply set them out in a tray, dish or basket and let them play! Miss 4 enjoys numbers and recognises quite a lot of numerals. She is learning some of the teen numbers still as these are always the most tricky. She calls out the ones that she knows, finds them and has a good go at putting them in the right order.
Other ways to use these during play could include incorporating them into dry sensory play tables such as sawdust, dry rice, pasta, sand, salt, kinetic sand, shredded paper, crushed leaves and dried grasses.
Play simple “hide and seek, find all the numbers then order them”. For the next step play “can you find the number hiding in the tub that is one more than…?” “Search for all the numbers that have a 1 in them”. “Can you find the number that shows how old you are/ will be next year/ were last year?” etc
Also, it’s important just to let them play with resources like these. Leave them in a position that they can easily be found and see what they come up with. It is so good for creating a numeral rich environment and they often use them in ways we just wouldn’t be able to imagine ourselves! For e.g. taking them and using them to become buttons on imaginary appliances and lifts (elevators), using them as birthday badges for teddy bears in a birthday party game, handing them out as tokens to friends, making them score system in a ball or racing game. The possibilities are endless. Let them play!
If you like these wooden number slices for counting and maths play then you may enjoy browsing all out other DIY toys and games here. We have made SO many over the years, and all for little to no cost.
And our PLAYFUL MATHS archives are full to bursting with great ideas for all learning objectives.
PS do you follow me on Instagram? I share loads of daily play and fun learning activities there too!
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