These natural stones would make a great addition to a maths table or to explore playfully at home.
For a while I've been thinking up ideas to get 'The fairy' more interested in numbers in a fun, non pressurised way. We look at numbers when were out and about, in shops, on our neighbours doors, on the phone, speed limit signs etc. We love to sing number rhymes. I'm confident that she knows her numbers 1-20 (and 1-10 in Spanish) but I'm not convinced she knows the value of these.
As she loves collecting things - especially natural objects I thought that making some 'number pebbles' would be right up her street. I painted some (basic!) ladybirds on one side and the number of ladybirds on the other. Fantastic for manipulating, stacking, putting in boxes and generally playing with whilst at the same time getting used 'how big' the number looks/ value of numbers. Perfect props for playful numeracy.
I hadn't planned to use these in another way other than to just let her explore them (i.e. I didn't want it to become an adult directed, 'this is the right way to do this' exercise) but as I was watching her play with them it struck me that you could use them with older children as a replacement dice (i.e. you put them all in a bag and draw one out ). However I'm not sure if that would work as they all are different sizes and it may lead to some cheating if you could work out what number you could feel in the bag...maybe if they last long enough we'll have a go and see!!
Vocabulary: ladybird, smooth, round, (numbers)