# Mr Men Maths: Making a Number Tool Box

What is a number tool box?  It is basically a box I can grab that has a few tools inside to teach number skills.  The number skills I want the little ones to learn are:

• Number recognition (B2)
• Counting (B2)
• Ordering Numbers (B2)
• Number bonds (A5)
• Writing numbers (B2 and A5)

Making the Box

1)  Collect the following bits and pieces:

2)  Trim the metal sheet so that it fits snuggly inside the lid of the ice cream box.  I covered the edges with electrical tape to prevent them cutting someone (the edges were very sharp).  Glue the sheet onto the lid.

3)  Cut some foam to cover the side of the box and stick.  Cut out the Mr Man character.  I do this free hand because they really are a very simple shape.  I did a Mr Tickle.  I also cut out some numbers to indicate to me what the box contained (I will be making many more):

Number Recognition and Counting Activities

1)  For some dice number fun I gathered some foam magnetic numbers, some foam, magnetic counters and a couple of dice:

A5 can also use these to practice her number bonds to 12.  She will do this by throwing two dice and bringing up the magnetic numbers on the board, with the corresponding number of counters.  She will then need to combine the two sets of counters and count them to find the sum of the two numbers shown on the dice.

2)  For some threading fun I made some Double sided Mr Men characters from foam.  One side I drew their face, the other I wrote a number.  Before I stuck the two sides together I placed a knotted pipe cleaner down the middle.  B2 would thread on the amount of beads written on the back of the Mr Men Characters:

Ordering Numbers

1)  For the first number ordering activity I numbered some wooden sticks 1 – 10 and stuck on the corresponding number of mini Mr Men characters.  I decorated a mini dough pot and popped some plasticene inside (doesn’t dry out, unlike play dough):

These could then be placed in ascending order (A5 and B2) and maybe even descending order (A5) into the plasticene:

2)  The second number ordering activity I made by cutting out a large Mr Tickles from foam and sticking him onto a collection of 10 sticks.  I labelled each stick in order 1 -10 and cut down the length of each stick using a craft knife, separating out the sticks again.  The sticks would then be placed together to form, not only a Mr Tickles, but also ordered numbers 1 – 10:

Writing Numbers

This was simple.  I just included a white board pen.  The girls could then choose a magnetic number and place it on the board and attempt to copy it:

All of these activities can fit in the box and each time over the next 9 months or so I want to work on their number skills it’s just a matter of pulling out this one box:

I intend to make many Mr Men themed boxes over the next few weeks.  They are intended to make schooling the little ones more ‘grab and go’, (the box not the children!) with everything in one place that I need in order to practice the concept or skill that I want to teach on that day.