Numbers are fun...

I wanted to find a numeracy scheme that was fun and enticing for the children and at an Education fair I discovered ‘Numicon’. The wonderful bright coloured materials that I knew the children would love and want to use, drew me in.

Generally young children learn numbers by being shown numbers one to ten and then matching the numbers to the written numeral. It is very important children can recognise and begin to form numbers one to ten by the time they leave nursery school, however children do not have the concepts to support each number as it is just a symbol to them.

The numicon method uses patterns to represent each numeral; the patterns are structured so number relationships can be seen in a way not provided by written numerals. Numicon encourages an understanding of number and number relationships, which is essential for successful mental and written arithmetic.

The numicon materials are used every day at Miss Daisy’s Nursery. During free play, we mix the different coloured shapes into their activities, such as shapes in the sand and the play dough, numicon shapes on the colouring table, numicon pieces in the water tray and in the home corner.

The children always respond well to the different shapes and colours and most importantly have fun with the materials. It is lovely to see the youngest children aged two and a half starting their numeracy journey by playing in the sand with the shapes and beginning to explore the materials and then by the time they are four years old they are so familiar with the different shapes and patterns that they are moving onto addition and subtraction games. It even helps children go on to learn about money as it helps them understand that an object can represent a value larger than one.

Any child of any ability can use the numicon range and children with special educational needs respond very well to the different visual activities.

One of the most wonderful aspects of numicon is that the children find the resources very therapeutic and calming yet they have lots of fun!

All the teachers at Miss Daisy’s Nursery have been trained in numicon and we very much believe in teaching the children using visual, structured imagery.

I am very pleased we discovered numicon and I would recommend it to any nursery school or primary school who are looking for a fun and exciting approach to mathematics.

Daisy Harrison

You may like to have a look at the Numicon webiste - Please click here to access it.