Math Activity: Creating & Using a Number Line

Shoelace number line; number line activity; number recognition

As my very smart yet stubborn toddler turns 3 in the next couple weeks I’m hoping** to implement a few different learning activities involving counting and numbers. She can count to 20 (yay!!) so I think it’ll be time to really start with number recognition. And this featured number line activity is super simple to create and use.

**Always remember that all kids learn at their own unique pace! I try not to push my toddler into an activity or to learn something because it usually ends up backfiring. Follow the pace of your child and try not to get discouraged if they just don’t want anything to do with it – it’s completely okay!

Number Line: Count on a Lace

Got a preschooler or kindergartener? Grab a shoelace and help your child learn to use a number line for number recognition.

What You Need:

  • A clean, white shoelace
  • A black permanent marker, fine point
  • A bead or button with a large center hole (or a paper clip)

What You Do:Number Line; Number Recognition; Shoelace Activity

  1. Have your child recite the numbers from zero to twenty-five in order. As he’s saying them, use the marker to write the numerals on the shoelace in order from left to right. Leave two finger-width spaces between each number.
  2. Tie a knot at the left end of the lace and then slip a bead onto the other end. Tie a knot at the right end of the lace.
  3. Invite your child to use the Lace Number Line to practice various counting skills:
  • Counting Up and Down. Say a number aloud, and have your child slide the bead to the matching number. He can slide the bead to the right as he counts up, and slide the bead to the left as he counts backward.
  • Greater and Less Than. Slide the bead to a number. Ask your child to name a number that is more (point to the right side of the number line) or less (left side) than the chosen number.
  • Word Problems. Take turns with your child creating fun counting stories aloud. For example: “Ian picked two apples. Then Ian picked one more apple. How many apples does Ian have now?” As the story is told, your child slides the bead to the first number (2), then slides it one number higher (3) to find the answer. Insert family or pet names in the counting stories, and have fun!
Number line activity; number recognition; shoelace math
Pin & Share!

This is a great activity to encourage number recognition, number usage, fine motor skills, and problem solving. Child not quite ready for this activity? Check out some math songs or online math games and make it fun!!

Find this math activity and more at

~ Kristin

About the blogger

No Comments
Previous Post
November 17, 2017

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Related Posts