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For this activity you will need:


Counting objects - you can use pasta pieces, cereal pieces, buttons, pencils or anything else that you have a number of.

Number cards 1-20 (you can make these yourself or if you would prefer you can use pre-made ones - see below)

Today we are thinking about what each number up to 20 looks like and its worth. 


To begin give your child a set on number cards ranging from 1-20 (1-10 if your child is not yet secure working within 10) in the correct order if they are less confident with numbers.  Identify each number with your child, talk about what the numbers look like (for example, 2 is like a swan, 8 is like a race track or snowman etc) and together order these in a line on the floor, table or on a long piece of string hung up like a washing line with pegs.  We talk a lot about patterns in Reception so your child can take a look at the patterns realising that teen numbers are the same order as 1-10, but with a one in front of each one, making it a teen number. You can also talk about the fact that twenty is not a teen number because it starts with a 2...does your child know what this could be (numbers in the twenties)? Remind your child that going up the number line the numbers are getting bigger, if we go backwards the numbers get smaller!


Now, ask your child to select a number and ask them to count out the correct number of objects. You can use pasta pieces, buttons, pencils or whatever you have available in your house for counting out. 


Once they have counted out the number of objects as them to check if they have counted out the correct number of objects. If your child makes errors you can talk about how if you line them up or move them as you count then this allows for accuracy. These are skills that they have already encountered in class. 


Once they have counted the objects out and checked the amount, move the objects around and ask the many are there now? By doing this children are realising the conservation of number. That unless you add or take any objects away that no matter how they are placed the total number remains the same. 


You can then repeat this for other numbers.  Remember to choose the numbers based on your child's ability as suggested on the opening Numeracy page.   Enjoy!