I left the Numicon out as an ‘invitation to play’ for my little snow leopard to find. He’s never really seen the Numicon before so I was interested to see what he’d make of it.


  • Numicon
  • Snow leopard


The first thing Cian did was to order the numbers from smallest to biggest. Having not used the Numicon before, I expected him to have to count the holes for each number, but he seemed able to recognise most numbers by sight.

While Cici was busy ordering his numbers, Ioan and Finny were working on rounding numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1,000 as part of our home learning. Being determined to do the same as his big brothers, Cian decided he wanted to do the same as them.

I wasn’t sure if Cici would understand the concept of rounding, but he insisted. He knew which number the given Numicon rounded to, but sometimes struggled with the language corresponding to that.

Throughout the day, Cian kept asking Ioan and Finny to call out numbers and could accurately say whether it rounded up or down without referring to the number line. It just shows, if children are determined to learn a new concept, they will!

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.