Number Line Creativity

A few weeks ago, we created a number line which was then stuck to the hallway floor.

I cannot tell you how many times our youngest son has worked his way up and down that number line counting to and from 100 (in ones, twos, fives and tens).

He has enjoyed it that much.

It’s always encouraging when children spontaneously engage in an activity simply because they enjoy it.

Today we engaged in number line creativity by adding meaning to as many numbers as we could.

Before we started, I stuck down an extra line of clear contact so we could write on it with permanent marker.

Time To Do Some Number Line Creativity

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Next to each number, we wrote something that related to the number.

For example,

0 = the number of zebras in our backyard
1 = the number of kitchens found in our house
2 = No. of boys in our family
3 = how many males are in our family
4 = David’s age
5 = No. of chairs around our dining table, etc.

I think it’s going to take some creativity to assign something to some of the numbers.

Already we’ve managed to include some simple multiplication. For example, there are 4 people in the house and each person has two eyes. How many eyes are there in the house altogether? 4 x 2 = 8

We did the same with toes: 4 people x 10 toes each =40 toes.

By working on the number line in this way, the boys could clearly see who is the oldest person in the house (i.e., Daddy) and how many years Mummy has to go before she reaches 50! (Hmmmm … maybe we’ll skip the small details).

There was a heap of counting going on in the kitchen as David declared there were 49 tiles on the floor (although I think he ended up giving a rough estimate rather than an exact count).

We now know the hall is 15 David-sized steps long and 30 Daniel-sized steps long.

While we still have a lot of numbers left to work with, we’ve made a decent start.

We’ll have to head outside next to count how many letter boxes there are in the street or how long the driveway is.

When it comes to the greater numbers, we may have to get really creative and declare:

98= the number of grey hairs Mummy’s gained since becoming a parent
99 = the age Mummy sometimes feels
100 = the number of star jumps Mummy should do because she ate a piece of Lemon Almond Cake

But wait … this is the boys’ project. They’ll have to come up with their own facts to write next to each number.

Yes, our number line is sure getting a good work out. Definitely worth creating!

By the way, this activity would work equally as well with a number line written on paper rather than stuck to the floor.

Do you use a number line? What sort of games or activities do you play with your number line?

You may also like these activities:

 Junk Mail Maths Activity Number Detectives

Return to the Articles List for other children’s learning activities or children’s book reviews.