Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Beach Pebbles *Counting toy*

I knew as we sat on the pebbled beaches in Norfolk this summer that there must be some Pinterest example of how to make something good out of a keepsake pebble. It didn't take long before I was finding similar sized ones to pack away with our beach toys and cart back to Lincoln with a mind of using them somehow with the kids. I know some people like to keep stones or shells in jars or on bathroom windowsills, but I must say, that wasn't the idea that I had. I knew their use was going to be for the kids. Both ours are quite tactile children and there is something about playing with and touching smooth stones that is very appealing. As I said, I had ideas but it has taken me until the 1st October to actually put them into place. These pebbles have been sat out on the picnic table, right in my eye-shot every time I went into the garden and I kept just putting it off. Having made my counting pebbles, I am so glad I finally picked them up and brought them inside!

 Really, they are for Etta, but I knew Raph would love them. And what's so difficult? I have basically used a chalk pen and written the numbers 0-10 on them with corresponding dots on the back. Very simple, very pretty and perfect for basic counting skills. 
I had a few pebbles spare which I wrote 'Norfolk 2016' on but on reflection I should have done a '+' and '-' sign to encourage calculation practise.

The simplicity of these number pebbles is that they are totally personal and a product from a very happy holiday. Putting numbers on them is just making use of them and allowing the kids to enjoy 'learning' when it just feels like playing.

For Raph, sequencing the numbers 0-10 is easy, if I had more pebbles I could have done them in sets of 10s up to 100 making him think about larger numbers but for now, working on number bonds to 10 and working out addition and subtraction can be used for helping support his mental maths skills.

For Etta, these are going to be perfect stepping stones (quite literally) to helping her recognise her numbers and ordering them. She will be able to then move on to small addition sums too. 

What's so lovely about these pebbles is that they are smooth to hold and look interesting so the kids just want to pick them up. I don't think they had realised that I had written on them, like they were some magical stones that happened to have numbers on; who would have thought hey?



  1. I love this idea! I'm a teaching assistant currently supporting a child in maths classes and this would be a perfect tactile and visual resource. Plus, I have a stash of beach pebbles in my garden as reminders from many holidays. Thanks for sharing! Margaret, Buckinghamshire

    1. Thank you jessie, hope it works with them! Emily x

  2. very interesting,Keep writing the same articles. We are glad to be associated with this.

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