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Numicon Fun

''Numicon is an approach to teaching maths that helps your child to see connections between numbers. It is a multi-sensory way of learning, which means your child learns by seeing and feeling.'' (OUP)


Numicon, developed by Oxford University Press, is a concrete maths resource used in many primary school settings. It provides the ability for children to physically hold maths in their hands and develop a deep understanding of number. It uses different coloured tiles from 1-10 and is a concrete representation of what 'number' is. The tiles fit together, can be laid over the top of one another and grouped in a variety of ways to encourage the understanding of number and number relationships.


I love to use Numicon and enjoy finsing creative ways to explore mathematical concepts using the resource.


Creating bubbles from numicon is my all time favourite activity. How many bubbles does each piece create? Can you count the bubbles? How many bubbles do you think this piece will make? Can you blow two different pieces that together will make ten bubbles?



This is a fun doubles activity. Draw the centre of a butterfly and then let the children add the wings and calculate the doubles addition sentence.


Personifying numicon is so fun! Can you add the correct number of eyes to the numicon monsters?



Creating ten men is a wonderful number bonds to ten activity. Draw around a ten shape and then ask them to create each of the men using two pieces.



Using numicon for festivities and events can be a fun way to engage children. These numicon bats for Halloween were a wonderful subitisng and number recogntion activity.


Here the numicon bunnies were a huge hit at Easter. Just a wonderfully creative way for children to explore the pieces. This activity could be extended by asking children to create addition sentences for each bunny they manage to create.



Well, what could be more fun than numicon biscuits? We had brilliant fun making these! Using a cookie mix and the pieces as the mould, once cooked add corresponding colured icing and together count out the number of chocolate buttons needed to make each piece.




Numicon outdoors!


Numicon mining is a brilliant fine motor summers day activity. Freeze the numicon pieces and provide children with warm water, pippettes, small tools and ask them to free the numicon. What piece do you think this is? How do you know? Is it an odd or even number?

Numicon fishing using some bath toy fishing rods and nets is a wonderful sensory water play activity. Can they hook two pieces that make ten? A numicon treasure hunt is a great way to take the resource outdoors.Hanging the pieces around the garden or playground and asking children to find certain pieces is a brilliant familiarisation activity.





Painting with numicon is great fun! This activity can be used for an array of mathematical exploration and mastery. Children can use this activity to order numbers, work on number bonds, create a city landscape using odd and even pieces or just use it to explore the colour of each piece.




This is a fun one, water beads fit perfectly inside numicon pieces and provide opportunities for pattern activities.



Numicon and chocolate is a great combination. Mini chocolate buttons fit inside numicon. We turned the peices into golden tickets, guessing which number we thought was wrapped up, what we noticed about the shapes of the pieces wrapped and used our chocolate buttons to help us with some addition and subtraction activities.



Wrapping numicon in silver foil is a great fine motor activity. This encourages little hands to unravell the pieces but also is a very clear visual for uncovering odd and even numbers. The pieces that are wrapped and have a 'chimney' are the odd numbers, the pieces without a chimney are the even pieces.


Numicon isn't just a resource used in Early Years. Numicon is a wonderful manipluative that can be used right through primary school. Calculating the permieter or area of shapes, telling the time, times tables, measurements and square numbers are some of the ways to use numicon with older children.


Some numicon packs come with a range of other resources to use alongside the tiles. These numicon mats with layover images are an initial great introduction for young children, allowing them to create fun images with numicon pieces.







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