Virtual lesson: Learn numbers with Numberblocks

Watch and learn

Hands up if you're trying to teach your children maths at home, but you don't really know where to start? This e-learning lesson has easy ideas that are perfect for children aged 3-5. Watch and take part or just complete the activities underneath. Either way, there are lots of quick ideas your children can try straight away.
  • 5-10 minutes
  • 3+

For more easy ways to learn, don’t forget you can buy brilliant Numberblocks magazines and the step-by-step Numberblocks maths programme in the 5Minutefunshop.

This home school lesson  aired on Facebook Live and is presented by Steph Cooper, an ex-early years teacher who is now an editor and educational advisor for children’s magazines, including Numberblocks. Follow us on Facebook for more live videos and activity ideas. And please get in touch – we’d love to see your children’s pictures. 

Start by making a numberline

To create your numberline, draw a straight line across, and add smaller lines (like a ruler). Write a row of numbers from 1 on the small lines. If your child is really young, make the line go up to 5. For older children, go up to 20.

Meet Numberblock 1

Write the number 1 for your child to trace over and spot and circle it in the numberline, to introduce your child to the number 1. They can wave to Numberblock 1, too!

Tell your child: 1 is the first number. When you count you always start with 1.

Now try this
Can your child notice lots of number 1s around your home? Ask lots of questions about it that require your child to do and say something. For example, can you see 1 nose on your face? Can you clap once? Hop once? Can you show me 1 of something? Try getting them to say hello to the things in your home. Hello 1 door, hello 1 TV, hello 1 me!

Look outside and say hello to the things there, too.

Collect a group of single objects and take it in turns to say what you can see. I can see 1 block, I can see 1 apple and so on…

Change the age: Older kids can meet and get to know 11. Eleven introduces children to the idea of place value. It is made of one 10 (tens) and 1 one (unit). Can your child choose 11 players for a fantasy football team, writing a name of a player next to each number? If they’re not football fans, can they list a dream team of superheroes or princesses instead?

Meet Numberblock 2

Ask your child to trace over the number 2. Can they write the number 2 by themselves and spot it on your numberline?

Now try this!
Challenge your child to look for pairs of things in your house. A pair of shoes, a pair of socks, a pair of glove. 

Can they spot pairs on their body – and yours? What do they use to hear, see and run with?

Then, get them to draw a pairs picture. A nice pair of pears, perhaps!

Meet Numberblock 3

As before, ask your child to spot the number 3 on the number line you drew. Can they draw over a dotty 3, and can they try to draw one by themselves? (It’s ok if they can’t write the number by themselves).

Try making 3 with some blocks. Arrange them in different ways – in a tower, in a row and in a diagonal line. Show them, with the blocks, that you can make 3 like this: 
2+1=3
4-1=3

TOP TIP:
3 is an odd number. A good way to introduce odd numbers to your child is to take some building blocks and stand them 2 blocks wide. If there are 4 blocks, the top will be even. But if there are 3, you’ll have 2 at the bottom and one on top.  An odd block on the top means a number is odd. 

Now try this: Play 3 in a row. Draw a 3×3 grid and take it in turns to add noughts and crosses until one of you manages to get 3 in a row. Or use objects to play with if your child isn’t writing yet.

Meet Numberblock 4

Get to know the number together first: spot 4 on your number line, and see if your child can trace and write the number. 

Now give your child 4 blocks and see how many different shapes they can print – a square, a tower, a line, some steps? Again, you can use the blocks to show that the number 4 is even. 

Try this arty idea!
If you have the time, let your child dip a block into paint. Can they paint or draw a flower with some square petals? How about a house with 4 windows?

If you’d rather not paint, use square stickers. Or cut some squares of paper to use instead.

Meet Numberblock 5

Get to know 5 together. Spot 5 on the number line and trace and write it. Can your child clap 5 times? Now do some high fives!

You can use blocks to show your child what 5 looks like. 

Now try this!
Draw around your child’s hand and label their fingers and thumb 1 to 5. 

There are lots more ways you can build maths into your day. Look for numbers when you’re cooking, talk about the 7 days of the week or create a rainbow picture and count the colours together.

Have fun and look out for more live lessons on our Facebook page soon!