As an extension to his Thomas Land: Mixed Up Phonics idea, Finny went on to do some mixed up addition. When he’s got an idea for play, he really rolls with it. He decided to work out the new number for his mixed up trains’, by adding the individual trains old numbers together.


  • Thomas trains
  • Whiteboard pens
  • Log slices with numbers written on


Percy + Toby = PursTo

Percy is number 7 and Toby is number 6. To work out 7+6, Finn used his fingers to count up 6 jumps from 7. He used the log slice numbers to represent their new number, placing them above the tram and train.

James + Gordon = JamsGor

James is number 5, so he added on Gordon’s number 5.

Thomas + Philip = TomFil

Thomas is the number 1 engine and Philip is number 68. I asked him how many tens and ones were in the total.

Oliver + James = OlJa

Oliver is number 11 and James is number 5. Finny knew that made 16, so I asked him to explain his working out.

Gordon + Edward = Edgu

Edward is number 2 and Gordon is number 4, so this was an easy sum.

Charlie + Thomas = ShuTom

Charlie is number 14 and Thomas is number 1. Finny gave me a variety of different ways you could add numbers together to make 15.

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. Using quantities and objects, they add two single-digit numbers and count on to find the answer.