Tag Archives: Maths

Autumn with Twinkl

We’ve been making good use of our subscription to the fabulous Twinkl website recently, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while.  Our display board in the hall is covered at the moment with (mostly) Autumn themed pieces of work and pictures, as the children have been so busy.  We are getting through quite a lot of printer ink as the little ones in particular keep asking for more.

twinkl autumn

It started when I decided to look for some resources for Rabbit and Tiddler to practise their number bonds to ten.  Twinkl was the first place we looked, and we found this lovely Rainbow to Ten Display Poster.  I printed a colour poster for their bedroom, and then two blank ones for them to colour and complete, which they both enjoyed.  They also had fun matching these Number Bonds to 10 on Pumpkins, and Rabbit now points out “pumpkin pairs” whenever she comes across them so it seems to have worked!  There are lots of other matching activities on different themes – we might try the snowmen ones next.

All four children enjoyed colouring the Rangoli patterns for Diwali, and Tiddler in particular kept asking for more, so we printed out lots of Autumn colouring pictures as well.  I’m now starting to browse the Twinkl website for some ideas for Winter and Christmas activities and there are so many to choose from that it’s hard to know where with start, but these Winter Maths Challenge Cards might have to be first.

Lego Maths with Twinkl

Maths that involves Lego is always popular in our house, so I was very pleased to see these Lego Addition worksheets available on Twinkl.  I printed out a selection of them, and though I was mainly aiming the activity at the younger children I guessed that the big boys would want a go too.

lego maths 1

Rabbit worked through two sheets very quickly and easily, so even for her I will need to devise a harder version.  The big boys did a sheet each for fun, and I have suggested they might like to make some more up, so perhaps they can do some for Rabbit.  I wasn’t sure if Tiddler would want to do it, but in fact he was very keen and it was perfect for him.  He was very happy sitting on my knee, matching real Lego bricks with the ones on the sheets and carefully counting the bumps.  I was very impressed by his counting, as he did them all with only one or two mistakes.  I had to help him with the writing – he is very confident writing one and zero, so he loved it when the answer was 10!  I wrote the other numbers for him and he traced over them.

lego maths 2

I had also printed off some multiplication worksheets for the big boys, as we have been working on times tables recently, and they did those as well.

lego maths 3

It was a very successful afternoon, with all four children working happily alongside each other.  Even though I was feeling really unwell at the time, I had one of those moments when I felt like I was looking from outside and realising how lucky I am.  People often ask me how I manage with so little time for myself, and it can certainly be hard to get anything (other than education) done.  But really I know it’s the best way for us.  I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

Maths with Lego Education and Twinkl

For this month’s education carnival, Jax has asked for posts about favourite educational resources.   That is such a huge topic that it’s hard to narrow it down.  There are so many resources that I love and use regularly.  Online, there is Twinkl for printable activities, Reading Eggs and other interactive learning programmes, and some great free sites such as Maths is Fun, BBC Bitesize and NASA kids to name but a random few.  Then there are books – fiction and non-fiction.  We have thousands of them, and I wouldn’t know where to start in picking our favourites.  Even if I could, that would definitely be a blog post of its own – or several.  We also have some good text books (Galore Park) that we use as a focal point for certain subjects, and a variety of workbooks which can be useful, though I wouldn’t recommend getting too hung up on them.  There is also a whole world of resources outside the home – museums, parks, National Trust properties, castles, beaches, woods, farms, libraries, sports clubs, home education groups and in our local area an ecology centre and lavender fields.

So I thought about all that for a while, then I started thinking about the subject-specific learning resources we have at home.  Our house is overflowing with art and craft materials and kits.  We have Mr Maker-style doodle drawers for paint, brushes, pots, collage materials, recyclable materials for models and so on.  Then we have several large boxes of Hama beads (Maxi and Midi) – we get ours from Craft Merrily.  We have Science kits, magnifying glasses, a microscope, bulbs, wires and buzzers, torches and magnets.  Then there are magnetic letters, letter tiles, flash cards, and games like Banangrams and Scrabble.  Maths is the subject for which we probably have the most specific resources.  We have magnetic numbers, number tiles, number templates, Maths card games and board games, Multilink cubes, base 10 materials, Cuisenaire rods, number fans, fraction magnets, counters, dominoes and dice.  It was really hard to choose what to write about, so I used the random selection method of picking the most recent photographs of educational resources in use – and here they are.

Lego Education

This is a Lego Education set (which we found on eBay) of number tiles, operation tiles and blank tiles and two white base boards.  They are also compatible with our two large Duplo base boards as well, which is very useful with four children.  We have used coloured stickers on the blank tiles so they can be used for matching and sorting activities.

Last week we got the set out for the first time in a while, and I gave it to the children without any instructions just to see what they would come up with.  I really enjoyed seeing the variety of ideas they had.  Owl and Monkey made lots of sums, using the four operations and the less than and more than symbols, then combined some of them to make a number crossword.  Owl then ordered the tiles from 0-9, started at 0 again and repeated the sequence over several times, and then observed the patterns of numbers reading down the columns.  Meanwhile Rabbit made a few sums but spent most of her time using the tiles with the coloured stickers on.  She sorted them by colour and then by number, and then matched the number tiles 1-6 to the corresponding sets.  She also used them to make pictures (a robot made out of a box, and an aeroplane!)

All of that was without any input from me, apart from explaining the less than and more than symbols to Monkey.  The next time we use them, I might add in a few suggestions of my own but I wanted to see what they came up with first.  These are some of my ideas:

  • Print off some Number Digit Cards from twinkl and use them as target numbers for the children to make sums using the letter tiles.
  • Use Duplo bricks and build towers, then place the number tile on top, or next to it, corresponding to how many bricks have been used.
  • Also with Duplo bricks, make towers of two colours (e.g. three red and seven green) and then use the tiles to write the sum (3+7=10) to practise number bonds.
  • Give the children a selection of number tiles to order, then follow up with a Number Ordering activity from twinkl.
  • Sort small objects (Hama beads, Lego bricks, Multilink Cubes, counters) into sets to match each number.
  • Use the tiles (and possibly bricks as well) to make bar charts.
  • Leave the boards lying around with some sums on and see who chooses to answer them!

Any more ideas welcome 🙂

Maths for Martians

This post is written by Owl.


Today I read this book: Galaxy Getaway.  The theme is space, and the main character is called Zeno.  The main part of the story is Zeno travelling on a long space journey to meet her cyberpal, Zormella, in Myria City on planet Numis.  (A cyberpal is a bit like a space penpal.)  There are Maths puzzles throughout the book. My favourite puzzle is called Underground rescue.  You have to find the missing numbers to complete several sequences to open the door to a mine.  Then you have to find the missing number in this sum:

17 x ? =34

(You have to work out the answer yourself.  I am not going to tell you.)

I would give this book 10 out of 10.  If you want to read it, you can buy it here.

Lovely educational stuff!

Today we have rediscovered these lovely Usborne activity cards.  I think Monkey has done some of the word puzzles on his own recently, but it is the first time in a while that we have done them together.  Owl and I did three of the Maths puzzles together (learning about co-ordinates, identifying even numbers up to 3 digits, and understanding probability.)  Then Monkey and I did two word puzzles ( a castle word search, and matching pairs of words with opposite meanings) and one space-themed Maths puzzle which involved addition and subtraction.

There is a great variety of themes and topics, and they range from fairly easy to very challenging.  Sometimes we have used them to reinforce particular topics, but it’s also fun to choose some at random as we did today.  Usborne has lots of similar sets, including Grammar and Punctuation cards which we didn’t get to today, but the boys were both keen to do some of them as well, so maybe we’ll fit that in tomorrow.  Anything that makes them excited about Grammar and Punctuation is good for me!