I recently shared a number game; the numbers washing line and the response to that game threw me back a bit – in a totally awesome way. I could see other families playing the game, (check out Jackie at My Little Bookcase’s instagram for their version of the game), and I loved the comments on the post (P.S. bloggers seriously love the comment love; think of it as a way to shout them a virtual coffee).

The response was wonderful because I could completely relate to the need for hands on, playful ways to learn. I am so pleased to share another playful math game – number fences.

This Math Game, Number Fences helps young children with learning their numerals and also ordering their numbers. As a guideline, children in Kindergarten (ages 4-6), are working towards counting to 30, ordering, reading and representing numbers in the range 0-20, (referenced from the Math Syllabus for schools in N.S.W, Sydney Australia).

Here’s a simple math game to help children develop numeral identification and ordering /sequencing their numbers.

### Number Fences

You will need:

• 20 craft paddle pop sticks
• thin marker

Prepare the number fences by simply placing the numerals 1-20 on the paddle pop sticks.

To play, jumble up the paddle pop sticks and then have the child / children make a fence by putting the numbered paddle pop sticks in the right order.

#### Some suggested variations to this math game:

• Limit the number range to 1-10 if those numbers haven’t been mastered yet.
• Focus only on 11-20 if children are just beginning to learn their teens.
• Build the fence backwards from a given number.
• Take a number out from the fence and ask them what number is missing
• Take several of the numbers out, and ask children to place them back in their right places, along the number line.
• Ask children what number is 2 more than 15; or 3 less than a given number, etc.
• Play guess the secret number. You choose a number and tell them it’s between a given range (e.g. The secret number is between 10-20). They have to guess the secret number. Every time they guess a wrong number, that paddle pop stick gets taken away from the fence. Continue guessing until the secret number is chosen.

Craft paddle pop sticks are so useful! This number fence is an extremely cheap, easy and fun way to learn through play.

What are some of your favourite math learning resources?

#### More Activities for Preschoolers

Three to Five: Playful Preschool is stuffed to the brim with tried, tested and loved playful learning ideas for preschoolers. There are 25+ ideas for preschoolers, ten printable resources and additional links to over 50 more activities. A great resource for parents. Download your copy here.

N&M: 5 years, 5 months
October 2013

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