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Numicon guide for parents

Find out what Numicon is and discover activity sheets, videos, and kits to support your child as they learn maths with Numicon at home.

What is Numicon? | Help at home | Numicon activity sheets | Numicon videos | Numicon kits | More maths help

What is Numicon?

Numicon is an approach to teaching maths that helps your child to see connections between numbers. From Oxford University Press, it supports your child as they learn early maths skills in nursery and primary school. It is a multi-sensory way of learning, which means your child learns by seeing and feeling.

Physical resources like the colourful Numicon Shapes are an important part of Numicon. The holes in the Numicon Shapes represent the numbers 1 to 10. When they are arranged in order, as in the picture below, children can easily see connections between numbers, such as ‘one more’ or ‘one less’.

Later on, your child will be able to see more complex mathematical ideas, like how two fours make eight, three twos make six, and so on. This lays the foundation for their understanding of number all the way through school.

Numicon is often taught in primary schools as a whole-school programme, meaning it is their main way of teaching maths. Teachers use worksheets, physical shapes, online activities, and more to teach using Numicon. As well as mainstream maths teaching, Numicon is also sometimes used as an intervention programme to help children struggling with maths.

If your child’s school uses Numicon, they may hold workshops to tell you how it is used in the classroom, and you can always ask your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

How can I help at home?

There are lots of ways you can help your child learn with Numicon at home. Download our free Numicon activity sheets, watch our Numicon videos, or browse our selection of Numicon kits for parents to find inspiration.

Numicon activity sheets

Download and print out these free Numicon worksheets to practise maths skills with your child.

Activity: Flowers

Cut out the flowers and practise adding and sorting.

Activity: Outdoors 1

Collect objects outside and practise calculating.

Activity: Wrapping paper

Create colourful patterns with the Numicon shapes.

Activity: Outdoors 2

Collect leaves and learn about symmetry and shapes.

Numicon videos

Watch our Numicon YouTube playlist for practical ideas, advice, activities, and games to play with your child.

Numicon kits for parents

1st Steps with Numicon at Home Kit

Designed specifically to help parents support their children’s maths progression in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

The kit includes a 100-square baseboard, 52 coloured pegs, 32 shapes, 10 numeral cards, three threading laces, picture overlays, a feely bag, an inspiring activity book, and more.

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Homework Activities Intervention Resource kit

Especially created for use at home, Homework Activities Intervention Resource kit supports children’s mathematical development and learning outside of school.

The kit includes dice, 60 coloured counters, 21 numeral cards, 30 shapes, a large table-top number line, and more.

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Bag of Numicon shapes 1–10

A set of 10 Numicon shapes to practise maths at home.

The tactile, multi-sensory approach helps your child build their mathematical fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving.

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More maths help

Copyright Oxford University Press 2020