General Reception Year 1

Numicons: A magic wand to enhance your child’s learning!

Is your child struggling a lot with maths? If yes, then hopefully you will find this article very useful. At the early stages, children do not make good sense of numbers, About 6% of school-age children struggle with basic Math concepts. (reference it)

Numicon is useful maths manipulative that helps children with numbers and help them start working in a visual and kinesthetic way. In short Numicons are colourful shapes which represent numbers from 1 to 10.

My daughter, who is in reception was struggling a lot with maths. She was finding it difficult to understand numbers. Every time I used to say her that its maths time, she used to just run away or start making sad faces. It was clear to me that math is not fun for her as she was not enjoying mathematics. I tried various techniques(which techniques for example) some worked a little bit while some had no effect at all. I was really worried because I was emphasizing math where she was getting far away from this subject. I knew that if I did not make math fun for her at this early age then she will not be able to cope with tough concepts in later life. Well then I read about this magical program, it looked really attractive to me and I thought why not give it a go.

Numicon Kit proved to be such an asset. It provides a large number of ideas as well as ‘hands-on’ activities to teach math concepts. Numicons were developed and introduced by the Oxford university press.

It is basically a visual representation of numbers, where children often find the abstract nature of the subject difficult(rephrase the sentence, not making sense ), the multi-sensory nature of Numicon can help them to learn more quickly and effectively

Numicons strong visual(avoid repetition of a visual word in a lot of places ) approach are also proving very successful for children with special needs including those with language delay, sensory impairment, Down’s Syndrome Association (UK), Dyslexia and autism.

Numicon illustrates number bonds, addition and subtraction, place value, doubling and halving, estimation, division and multiplication(Rephrase it as it has too many commas.e.g. numicons are not only useful with subtraction and addition but they can be used ….). Children actively enjoy using Numicon, either independently or in groups. The colourful and durable pieces are ideal for whole class mental maths activities. The following are few examples of how to use Numicons with your children.


Number Bonds






I have now used Numicon numerous times with my daughter and I must say it has really helped to consolidate the basic understanding of numbers. She is very fluent now and as she is understanding things more deeply she has started loving maths. According to teachers the some of the most complicated concepts for year 1 students are “finding the difference” and “Less and more”. I used Numicons with my daughter to make her understand that and it worked so well, as she can actually SEE the difference between two numbers. The biggest change I have seen is my daughter is much more motivated and she actually waits for the maths time, seriously it is a big success for me.

If you haven’t visited the Numicon website yet then please do so, its full of great information and tips on how to use the system.. For more information on how to use Numicons check out this file. You can also download my Numicon pack for more activities.

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