Posted in Conceptual understanding, Counting, Fluency, Subitising

Practising maths with Digit Dog

What do children need to practise daily?

In order for children to develop fluency they need to have a daily routine where they practise:

  • Counting;
  • Remembered facts;
  • Using number relationships to do calculations.

Children need the opportunity to:

  • Talk mathematically;
  • Discuss and solve problems;
  • Be creative;
  • Use reasoning skills.

Follow Digit Dog for ideas to engage children in mathematical conversations.

Using flik-flaks

Print your own flik – flaks from

Flik-flaks available to download from

Use flik-flaks to practise:

  • Counting
  • Subitising (recognising small amounts without counting)
  • Number bonds
  • Multiplication facts
  • Using mathematical language
  • Using reasoning skills.


Hold up the Digit Dog flik-flak and ask how many dogs can you see? You can fold the flik-flak along the black lines to show all the numbers from 0 to 10. This allows children to practise counting sets of objects up to 10.

Give children their own flik-flak and ask them to:

  1. Show a single digit number – 1, 2, 3, 4 ……etc.
  2. Show the numbers 0 – 10 in order. How many ways can you show each number?
  3. Show the same number of dogs as you are showing.
  4. Show one less / one more e.g. show me one less than 3, one more than 5….etc. How did you work it out? Can you do it without counting?
  5. More/fewer than I am showing. Explain your answer. e.g. How many dogs am I showing? Can you show me more dogs? Can you show me fewer dogs?


Once children can confidently count the dogs by pointing at each one and not making mistakes, encourage them to subitise i.e. to recognise amounts without counting. When they see 3 dogs, they can say it is 3 without counting 1, 2, 3. They should be able to do this with numbers up to 5.

Counting in 2s

Use the flik-flaks as a quick way to practise counting in 2s.


Show children the flik-flak and ask:

How many dogs can you see?  How many eyes can you see?  How many ears can you see?  How did you count them?

Fold the flik-flak:









How many eyes can you see now? How did you count them? Did you count in 2s? Did you say “3 lots of 2”?


I can see 10 eyes. Show me 10 eyes with your flik-flak. How many dogs are there if there are 10 eyes?








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