Number Line Tape Measure

This is a quick counting, adding and subtracting activity.

You need a number line or a tape measure.

Talk about the numbers on a tape measure, choose a small number (like 5). Have your child count up to it from one, and then count on past it to 10.

Mark the number with your finger or a pen.

Now, ask a few questions about the number:

What number is 1 more than...?

What number is 2 more than...?

What number is 1 less than...?

What number is 2 less than...?

Next, swap roles so your child chooses a number and asks you a question.

Finally, you can take it in turns to play a "I'm Thinking of a Secret Number" game.

Place a pen pointing at a number, and say:

"This is the number 8. I'm thinking of a Secret Number that is 3 more than 8. What is my number?"

Help your child to count along the tape-measure to find your 'Secret Number'. 

Then, swap roles again. Can you find their 'Secret Number'?


We used a tape-measure here. We chose to use inches because on our tape this was the clearer side. The children are not measuring with the tape, just counting and adding. You could use a ruler or a printed number-line, if you wish. Or simply write the numbers out on paper.

Share  what you have done with your teacher - write about what you found out, take pictures or post a tweet to your School.

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