Posted in Counting, Mathematical language, Subitising

Exploring number with Bottle Top Bugs

How to make a set of Bottle Top Bugs.

Use the tops from plastic milk bottles.

Draw eyes and spots. Think about the patterns of spots – this arrangement focuses on the pattern of 5. The numbers above 6 are arranged as “5 and some more”.
The spots on these bugs are arranged to match the Numicon shape patterns.
These bugs have “goggly eyes” and the spots are divided into two so that number bonds can be explored.

Explore your bugs.


What do you notice?

  • Find bugs with the same number of spots.
  • Count the spots and put the bugs in order.
  • Start to recognise patterns. Say how many spots there are without counting in ones.
  • Find the bug with 5 spots. Now find the one with one more than 5, one less than 5, two more/less than 5.
  • Find two bugs that have 8 spots altogether. Can you find another two with 8 spots? How many different pairs can you find? How do you know you have found them all?

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