Download your free number wheel printable for hands-on counting games.
Free printable number wheel counting game
Learning to count is of course an essential building block in developing math skills, and it’s one of the first things we teach our children.
Learning to recite the pattern of number names (one, two, three, four, five…) doesn’t however necessarily mean your child has learnt the concept that ‘two’ means two individual things, or that ‘four’ is one more thing than ‘three’. Perhaps they are only really reciting the number names like a song?
This number wheel game can help your child understand the critical ideas of counting, one-to-one correspondence, amounts, and bigger / smaller values.
How to use this game
To play with these number wheels:
- Print your number wheels – see how below. I recommend printing on card to make your wheels more durable.
- Cut out the number wheels, laminating each one if you like.
- Make a set of number pegs, using clothes pegs and writing a number 1 to 20 on each one using a permanent marker.
- Set out the number pegs and the number wheels and invite your child to explore and play.
:: You can use the wheels simply to count the dots and match up the correct clothes peg to each section. You can use the 1 to 10 wheel for younger children, and add in the 11 – 20 wheel when your child is working on higher numbers.
:: See if you can look at the dots on the 1 – 10 wheel and recognise how many there are without counting them. This is called subitising: it’s the ability to instantaneously recognise the number of objects in a small group without the need to count them.
:: You could play a more than / less than game. Pick a clothes peg, look at its number, and see if you can find the dots that are one more than that number, or one less than the number.
:: You can use the wheels for number bonds too. Use the 1 – 10 number wheel, and count the dots in one of the sections. How many more do you need to add to make ten (or twenty)? Find that number peg and match them up. Knowing your number bonds is an important aid to addition and subtraction, and a great help when you’re answering mental math problems.
:: You can use the number wheel as an independent or quiet time activity, but it is also great to use with your child. In a classroom, pairs of children can work together to match the stars and numbers.
If you’re interested in hands-on math resources, you’ll love this too!
While you’re here, get your copy of my Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities. It’s such a good resource for hands-on math ideas.
The book includes 40 math and science projects for children aged 3 to 8, covering a range of math and science learning including:
- how to create a math and science rich environment at home or in class
- number line, number recognition, counting, addition and subtraction games
- activities for measuring, graphing, estimating and recording data
- activities for shapes (both 2D and 3D), volume, patterns and fractions
- experiments to promote scientific thinking and hands-on exploration
- science projects that cover: our senses, gravity and inclines, density, states of matter, change agents, botany, surface tension, magnets, elasticity, absorption, color mixing and color theory, chemistry, engineering, light, mirrors and reflection
How to download the printable
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