Teach counting with laundry pegs and ice cream sticks

Educational toys do not need to be costly.

You can make many of the items you see at home with just one ot two household items and a bit of time.


Hamish has been counting for a while and can now identify his numbers up to 20.

But is rote counting and random identification enough?

I wanted to also teach him what number comes before and after each other, how to sequence the numbers and how to identify the numbers that may be missing from a number line.

An easy maths game

To do this I made a set of 10 number lines with numbers missing.

I then wrote a number on 10 pegs and left Hamish to peg the missing number onto the icecream stick in the correct place.

Learning outcomes

Using this I was able to:

  • show him which numbers came before or after each other
  • Use the pegs to have him sequence numbers
  • Teach him to place the missing number in the correct place on the number line
  • Test his knowledge of number recognition and counting

To make your own

To make your own you will need:

  • 10 ice cream sticks ( you could use thick pieces of cereal box card if you do not have ice cream pegs)
  • 10 pegs
  • A permanent marker


First write the numbers 1 -10 on each ice cream stick leaving out one number each time and replacing the number with a square or line where the missing number would be.

Next write the numbers 1-10 on each peg, one number per peg

Present the game to your child and show them how to play.

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