DIY maths manipulatives are one of my favourites. We’ve used sticks before to order and sort but for this week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids theme of Forests, we have taken those sticks and created some small wood slices that we can then use for number counters. In this simple DIY game we worked on number ordering making our own number line and introduced place value by making numbers with the wood slices.

Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

After the activity, you will find our book suggestions for this week, 5 fun books that are great to add to your book box for the week including this week’s featured book The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Then a lesson plan by the co-hosts of the Virtual Book Club for Kids sharing activities related to forests and The Gruffalo for you and your kids to enjoy to do together.

Materials Needed for Wood Slice Number Game

Sticks cut into small slices or buy some pre-cut wood slices

Sharpie or other marker pen


Check out our other maths game to support counting


Preparation needed for this simple DIY Maths Game

Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

Count out 20 small wood slices and label them 0 to 9 and then 0 to 9 again.

Activity 1 – Ordering Numbers with Wood Slices

Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

Start off laying the numbers on a flat surface in a random order and ask your child to put them in a number line from zero to nine.

Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

Help them with the order as they need it.

Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

When they have them in order suggest that with the remaining wood slice numbers place them in reverse order instead. Start by counting backwards with your child. If they can order them easily then get them to do it. If not work step by step identifying the number in the number line you have already made and then finding the matching one and placing it in the correct place.

Activity 2 – Introducing Two and Three Digit Numbers

Once children have mastered the reading of the numerals 1 to 9 it’s time to move onto two digit numbers.

They will probably already know some of these from learning to count by rote but won’t necessarily have ever read or seen the numbers.

Starting with then number 10 to 19 ask the child to make the number. Making 10 is probably the best to start off with as they may have seen this in books and looking at number lines.

Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

Then work on the teens – show them 13 and then ask them to make 14.

Extension Activities

These wood slices are great to keep as a resource to help with lots of different number work. You can switch the leaves in this place value activity for number slices or check out the penguin place value game we have this week and use them instead of magnetic numbers.

Forest Themed Books

This week’s featured book is The Gruffalo one of my children’s favourite books and I think we may have 2 or 3 copies of it in the house as they have had it brought for them multiple times. By the author Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Alex Scheffler the story, rhyme and illustrations combine to make a firm childhood favourite.

 Four more fantastic Forest themed books for your Book Box this week.

Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See! by Bill Martin Jr

Ten in a Den by John Butler Themed Activities for Kids

Virtual Book Club for Kids Forest Themed Week


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Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

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Make your own Wood Slice Maths Manipulatives and play this fun number game with preschoolers helping them with counting and recognition of numbers.

Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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