Posted in Easter, Games

Race to the eggs

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are playing a game. Why don’t you try it?

Easter game

Race to the eggs – a game for two players

You will need:

The game board (download here), a dice (or a pile of 1 – 6 digit cards) and 6 counters for each player. We made counters from milk bottle tops.

To play:

Take turns to throw the dice, say the number thrown and move a counter along the track.

If you land on a paw print, say the number that should be there.

Once you have moved your counter, choose one of the boxes on the side of the board. If you choose:

  • Double – double the number on the dice.
  • Make 10 – say the number that goes with the number on the dice to make 10.
  • 3 – think of 3 ways to make the number on the dice e.g. if you threw a 4 you could say 3 + 1 = 4, 5 – 1 = 4, 2 + 2 = 4.
  • More – say a number that is more than the number on the dice.
  • Less – say a number that is less than the number on the dice.

If you get the answer correct you can put one of your counters on the rectangle.

The game continues until one player gets to the eggs but you cannot be the winner until you also have a counter on each of your 5 boxes.

Posted in Calculating, Conceptual understanding, Easter, Logical reasoning, Problem solving

Two eggs left

Digit Dog has been eating his Easter mini eggs.

He has 2 eggs left.

Calculating Cat is wondering how many eggs he could have had to start with and how many he could have eaten to be left with 2.

two eggs left

How many eggs could he have had at the start? What if it was 6? How many would he have eaten to be left with 2?

What other numbers could he have started with?

What number do you know he couldn’t have had at the start?

How many different solutions can you find?

How did you work it out? Explain your reasoning.

Can you record your solutions?

Can you put your solutions in order?

What if………..

……………he had a different number of eggs left?

………….he was eating bones not eggs?

……… made up a problem like this about your Easter eggs?

Posted in Easter, Logical reasoning, What's the same / different?

Compare the Easter eggs

Helping children to notice similarities and differences in everyday life helps them to spot patterns and to use their reasoning skills. Spotting patterns and logical reasoning are key when learning mathematics.

Ask children “What is the same?” “What is different?”

Then ask them to explain what they notice, this improves their language and thinking.

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are playing “what’s the same and what’s different?” with their Easter eggs.

same different eggs

same different eggs W

Look at the two eggs and find similarities and differences. Any answer is acceptable. Encourage children to keep looking for more. Make a list that can be added to.

What can you say about the two eggs? What do you notice?

Can you think of anything that is the same?

I can see that both eggs have Peter Rabbit on them.

Encourage and model the use of full sentences.

Anything else?

Both eggs are made of chocolate.

Both eggs are in a box.

Can you think of more things that are the same?

What about the differences? What is different about the two eggs?

I can see that one egg has creme eggs in it and the other has mini eggs.

Any other differences?

The boxes are different colours.

Use your own Easter eggs to play this game.

Posted in Counting, Easter

Fill the egg

How many objects can you fit in the egg?

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are trying to fill their plastic eggs with as many objects as they can.

Try this out for yourself – each person needs an empty plastic Easter egg or any small container to fill with as many objects as they can. The one who collects most objects is the winner.

fill the egg




Fill the egg Cy

Count the objects to see who has the most. Organise your objects so that you can see how many there are without counting in ones.

Do this by:

  1.  Organising the objects into tens.  How many do you have?  “I have one ten and eight”.

Screenshot 2018-03-23 08.27.30

Screenshot 2018-03-23 08.27.39

How many objects does Digit Dog have? Don’t count in ones.

Does he have more or fewer objects than Calculating Cat? Explain how you know.

2. Putting the objects on a 10-frame (download here).

Calculating Cat
Digit Dog

Who collected the most objects? How do you know?

How many more objects does Calculating Cat need so that she has 20? How can you work it out by looking at the 10-frame?

3. Putting the objects in egg boxes.

Calculating Cat
Digit Dog

Who was the winner? Who had more objects? Who had fewer objects? Can you quickly count the objects? Make a chart to show how many objects each person collected.



Posted in Additive relationships, Counting, Easter, Games

Easter Race to 10

A game for any number of players.

You will need:

  • A 10 frame each (download here)
  • A dice with numbers 1 – 3, or a set of digit cards (download here double sided to have Digit Dog on the back) that are placed face down in a pile and then the top one is turned over for each turn
  • 10 eggs for each player (cut out eggs here or use mini chocolate eggs)

Take turns to throw the dice. Count the number of eggs and put them on the 10 frame. The first person to get 10 eggs wins.

As you play describe how many eggs you have:

“I have ……… eggs. I need ……….more to make 10”.

During the game take time to look at each other’s frames and talk about the numbers of eggs on each frame.

Use the sentences like Calculating Cat:

“I have ……… more eggs than you. You have …….fewer eggs than me.”

“I have …….fewer eggs than you. You have ……..more eggs than me.”

race to 10 eggs

How many eggs does Digit Dog have?

How many eggs does Calculating Cat have?

Who has fewer eggs? How many fewer? Explain how you know.

Who has more eggs? How many more?

How many more eggs does Digit Dog need to make 10? What about Calculating Cat?

Now play Race from 10

Start with 10 eggs. Throw the dice and take away that number of eggs. The first person to have no eggs is the winner.



Posted in Calculating, Conceptual understanding, Easter

Making ten with eggs

Digit Dog has got 10 mini Easter eggs and two baskets. He puts some eggs in one basket and the rest in the other. He’s trying to find out how many ways he can do this.

Try this yourself – if you don’t have eggs and baskets you can use any objects and containers you can find.

eggs in basket

eggs in basket Welsh

Let children try out some different ways of organising the eggs. Say:

I have ……..eggs in one basket and ……..eggs in the other. I have 10 eggs altogether.

…….. plus ……… is equal to 10.


How can you record what you have done? Children might take photos, draw pictures or write a number sentence.

How will you know you have found all the different ways? Can you explain how you know?

Do you notice any patterns?

What if………….

……….you put the eggs in the two baskets, then one person closes their eyes and another person takes away some eggs? Person 1 opens their eyes and works out how many eggs are missing. How did you work out how many were missing? Explain your thinking.

………you had three baskets?

…… had more than 10 eggs?


Posted in Easter, Numicon, Problem solving

Collect the Easter Eggs

Collecting eggs

Digit Dog is collecting eggs from the Easter Bunny’s store. Here is a map of the store. (download and print your store here

Digit Dog counters

Screenshot 2019-04-03 15.31.31

There are 8 rooms and the number tells you how many eggs are in each room. Digit Dog has to go into the rooms and collect the eggs BUT he can only go into each room ONCE.

How many  can Digit Dog collect?

How many different ways can he go though the store?

Can you record his routes? How might you do this?

Screenshot 2019-04-03 15.49.25

Can you do it a different way, Digit Dog, and collect more eggs?

What’s the most eggs you can collect?

What’s the smallest number of eggs?

Look for children who are planning the routes and can explain their thinking.

Make it easier

1. Use the blank store and put just numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the rooms.

2. Put mini-eggs in the rooms and collect them.

Extend the challenge

Use the blank store and put higher numbers in each room.

Challenge children to find all possible routes and to explain how they know they have found them all.

Posted in Additive relationships, Calculating, Communication using symbols, Conceptual understanding, Easter, Fluency, Logical reasoning, Strategic competence

Calculating Chicks

How many chicks are hiding?

Screenshot 2018-03-22 23.20.51

Digit Dog is using a hollow plastic egg and some fluffy chicks to create some number problems. This type of word problem requires more thinking than the problems such as “There are 4 chicks in my egg and 4 chicks on the floor.  How many chicks are there altogether?”, where the end result is unknown.

The aim is to encourage learners to think and talk mathematically – to have a mathematical conversation and use their knowledge of additive relationships and the link between addition and subtraction.

Ask learners to:

  • Explain what the problem is about in their own words.
  • Explain what information they know and what they are trying to find out. How many chicks are not in the egg? What number of chicks cannot be in the egg?
  • FInd a way to work out how many chicks are in the egg.
  • Describe the strategy they have used. They might:
    • act it out – using children themselves (with chick masks)
    • act it out – using toy chicks
    • use counters to represent the chicks
    • draw pictures of the chicks
    • use an eight Numicon shape to lace the chicks on
    • use number bonds
  • Convince everyone that their answer is correct. Use sentence starters such as:
    • I know the answer is 4 because ….
    • First of all I…………then I………
    • I know that …….. so…………
  • Write a number sentence
  • Change the number of chicks in the egg.
  • Think about a What if………?

What if there were more than 8 chicks altogether?

What if the story wasn’t about chicks?

Can learners transfer their thinking to a new problem?

Make up some of your own problems like this one for your friend.

The five proficiences

Learners will use:

  • strategic competence to make sense of the problem, work out what is known and what needs to be found out and to decide on a way of solving it.
  • logical reasoning to explain their thinking, to make sense of the problem and to use what they know to work it out.
  • conceptual understanding of, and fluency with, number bonds for 8 in order to use them to solve the problem and to be efficient and accurate with the basic calculations.
  • communication using symbols and correct mathematical vocabulary to write number sentences and explain their thinking .

Learners will need to be competent in all five proficiencies in order to create their own problems.

Posted in Easter, Logical reasoning, Numicon, Problem solving, Strategic competence

Cover the Chick

Easter animals

For those of you who enjoyed the Chinese New Year activity Cover the animals, here’s an Easter version.

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat are using the Numicon® shapes to cover the picture of the Easter Chick .

You will need the Chick picture (download and print on yellow paper) and a set of Numicon® shapes. Ask learners to use the Numicon® shapes to cover the chick in any way they can.

Screenshot 2019-04-03 13.39.12

How many different ways can you do it? Describe what you’ve done.

Compare your chick with your friend’s. What’s the same and what’s different? How did you check that your way was different from your friend’s?

Play What’s missing?

  1. When the chick is covered with shapes, one child closes their eyes, another takes away one shape. Which one is missing? How do you know?
  2. Put some shapes in a feely bag, take them out one at a time and place on the chick. Can you find the shapes you want by touch alone?  This helps with visualising the shapes.


How did you cover the chick? How many shapes did you use? Talk about how you chose the shapes. Which shapes were most useful?

Can you cover the chick again but using different shapes?

How many different ways can you do it?

What is the fewest number of shapes you can use? The most?

Can you just use odd shapes? Even shapes?

What if you weren’t allowed to use the same shape more than once? How many ways can you do it? Is this more difficult? What are you thinking?

Can you use one shape repeatedly to cover the chick? Which shapes will work? Which won’t? Why?

Encourage learners to describe and explain what they are doing.

Look for those learners who have a strategy for choosing shapes and those who use trial and improvement.

Look for learners who swap shapes for other equivalent shapes each time they look for a new arrangement rather than starting from the beginning.

Encourage learners to put all their completed chicks together and ask “what is the same?” “what is different?”


Try the same activities with the Easter Bunny  (download here).



Posted in Easter, Estimation, Logical reasoning

Easter Estimation

Digit Dog and Calculating Cat have been inspired by Steve Wyborney to create this estimation activity. Screenshot 2020-03-16 12.18.57

Screenshot 2020-03-16 12.20.08

Download the powerpoint here

Show the first slide and ask:

How many eggs are in the pot?

Take estimations and then reveal the answer.

Show picture 2 and ask the same question. Compare the pots – are there more eggs or fewer eggs? Take some estimates and then reveal the answer.

Show picture 3 but this time ask learners to write down their estimation and then to tell their partner why they chose that number. This generates mathematical talk and explanations.

I chose _____ because___________

I looked at pot __ and thought__________

I think __________ because_____________

Repeat for picture 4.


Posted in combinations, Easter, Making totals, Money

Coin combinations

Buying an egg

Screenshot 2019-04-08 16.30.42

Digit Dog has bought a chocolate egg for 50p. He paid for it using silver coins. Which coins do you think he used? Which coins did he definitely not use? Why?

How many different ways do you think he could pay? Convince me that you have found all the different ways. Explain your thinking.

What is the least number of coins he could use? What is the most?

What if…………..

……..Digit Dog bought something for 50p, 75p, £1……..any amount you like?

……..he could use any coins? How many ways to pay would there be then?

Make up some questions like this for your friends.