We have found a fun way to incorporate fine motor skills and maths. Our Simple Addition With Nuts and Bolts is a hands on maths activity that could be used within a classroom or as an independent activity at home. It is simple to set up and has plenty of scope for extended activities.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

Resources needed for Simple Addition With Nuts And Bolts

We have provided affiliate links to Amazon.co.uk in the supply list and below that a shopping list for Amazon.com to ensure you have everything you need to complete the activity.
Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

* Nuts and bolts similar to these on Amazon – I went to Wilco and bought a bag of large assorted nuts, bolts, screws and washers of varying sizes for £2.99. You will need a minimum of 14 nuts.

Twin Tipped Permanent Marker Pen

* Two dice – we like to use our colourful Foam Dice


How to set up Simple Addition With Nuts And Bolts

1. Write the numbers 1-12, the addition symbol and equals symbol onto the nuts using a permanent marker pen. I found it easier to thread the nuts onto the bolt before writing as this kept the nuts still. Remember to write the same number or symbol on all six sides of the nut. I also made one nut with a subtraction symbol to be used at a later date.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

2. Allow time for the permanent marker pen to dry.

3. Remove all of the nuts from the bolts and place them on the table along with two dice.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

Working on Addition – then try our Thumbprint Addition Activity to show the addition of the numbers easily.

Inspiration for More Hands-on Maths Ideas

We have collaborated on a fantastic book to support your child’s education working on letters, numbers and shape skills including ideas for number sentences and addition problems. ABCs and 123s feature 40+ activities for children aged from preschool upwards and as it is in ebook format it’s the perfect addition to have on hand when you are working together at home or when planning ideas for your classroom.

Find out all the details about this ebook here.

How to play Simple Addition With Nuts And Bolts

1. Roll the two dice. These will be the numbers used in the addition number sentence.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

2. Find the matching number nut of the first die and thread it onto the bolt.

3. Locate the addition symbol and thread this onto the bolt.

4. Find the second dice number and equals symbol to add these to the bolt.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

5. complete the number sentence by working out the addition and threading the answer at the end of the bolt.

6. Remove the nuts, roll the two dice and start the activity again.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

For this activity, I made sure that the bolt was thinner than the nuts. This meant that the nuts slid on easily and could be taken off quickly.  If you want more a fine motor challenge or to make the activity last longer then use a thicker bolt.

Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

We are looking forward to extending our nuts and bolts to include the subtraction symbol. In the not too distant future will also be able to use the same resources to create a multiplication activity too.


More Hands-on Maths – Doubling using a mirror and our Maths Fact Family Triangles for working on the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction.


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Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

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Hands-on mathematics for supporting the writing of number sentences and getting to grips with addition using nuts and bolts.

Author
Emma Edwards

During a difficult pregnancy suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Emma vowed to make every day an adventure once she had recovered. Adventures of Adam is the outcome of completing a 100 day play challenge with Adam as part of that promise. Emma has a section dedicated to HG friendly play activities so that Mums can still be part of their children’s play whilst they are ill.

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