Counting and Number Recognition Sticky Wall Activity

Sep 5, 2013

This tactile and quick set up activity is fabulous for practicing number recognition, counting and one-to-to correspondence. We used it to help consolidate our knowledge of teen numbers but you can adjust to suit whichever numbers you are working on.

Ages: 2+
(Maddie was 4 here. See the bottom for Handy Tips to simplify or extend to meet your child's needs)

  • Coloured paper (we used coloured circles but whatever shape is fine
  • Contact paper (aka. sticky back plastic
  • Sticky tape 
  • Marker  
  • Embellishments for  counting and sticking (we used felt shapes but you can use anything that sticks, pompoms, buttons, counters, paper scraps, matchsticks etc.)

Write whichever numbers you are practicing on your coloured paper as shown, with 1 number per piece of paper. Stick your numbered paper onto a wall/door/window with some folded sticky tape.

Tape down a piece of contact paper over the top of the numbered papers using sticky tape with the sticky side out. When your contact paper is stuck in place, peel off the backing paper so that you are left with a sticky wall.

Place your materials (we used felt shapes) for sticking and counting beside your sticky number wall and you are ready to go!

Encourage children to count aloud as they stick each item down. Ask questions such as "Which number is that?" "How many shapes are you going to stick on that circle?" "How many have you stuck so far? "How many more do you need to stick on?"

As we were working with teen numbers, it was easy to lose count of where she was up to. There was a lot of counting over and over again but depending on how the materials were stuck on, this proved to be somewhat tricky to establish which had already been counted or not.

This discovery led us to organising our materials better and also had her, once again, discovering the fact that each number was 10 and x more. Counting out 10 first and then the extra amount was much easier!

Working on such a large scale was also great for gross motor skills such as reaching and stretching and bending. It was also very visually pleasing.

We ran out of felt shapes towards the end and substituted in some pompoms. Grouping her 5's in different colours allowed her to make further connections between the numbers and their relationships to one another.

Our finished sticky teen number wall. Little brother was more than happy to help with the felt shape and pompom removal!

Handy Tips:

Simplify this activity by starting with numbers 1-3 and then slowly extend from there. For younger children you could always draw the corresponding amount of dots on the paper first before putting the contact paper over the top. Then children can match the same number of materials to the dots to make it easier.

Extend this activity by:
  • Having the children write out the numbers on the coloured paper first
  • Encouraging children to stick on 10 of one colour and the remaining amount in another colour
  • Using this set up to practice basic subtraction, addition etc.

Mix it up by using the same set-up to learn about colours, letters or shapes and have children stick the colours, letters or shapes onto the corresponding sticky wall spaces.

- You will need the clear variety of contact paper so that you can see through it to the numbers underneath.

- The great thing about a sticky wall is that it's super easy to correct any mistakes and to re-use over and over again. The materials you stick to it are not difficult to peel back off so that they can all be reused as well.

-  Here are a few of our other activities that help us practice counting and number recognition.
Click the following pictures to take you to the activities.


Happy playing,
Debs :)

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  1. That is pretty and looks like a fun way to encourage my little home-schoolers to enjoy their x tables.

  2. That is a really clever idea. I wish I was at this age again because learning numbers, shapes and colors in this way seems like it would be really fun. I also like that it's not just rote memorization, you actually have to think about relationships and understand why this goes with this, but not that. Ingenious!

    1. Too much of maths learning for kids early on was all about rote learning. We know now that this is not the most effective method of teaching and learning for children at all. I wish my own maths education had of been more like this. Thanks for your comment :)

  3. The way you teach maths is so much fun than what I remember. The only 'fun' maths I remember was using wooden blocks to add and subtract with and that was really early on. And I think that I remember it so well tells me something!

  4. What a great idea! Thank you for the extensions as well! I might need to try this with Lucy for colours and Cameron for numbers 5-10 :)

  5. Great idea! I love how you do so much maths play at your place. We're only starting on that journey and you provide such great inspiration.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This is such a fun, hands on way for children to learn about and explore mathematical relationships. I think my children would really enjoy this activity. Elise @ Creative Play Central

  8. What a way to make maths fun! I think this would really help my girls understand the patterns in numbers like you have explained here. Great idea :-)

  9. Fabulous idea, not only is it fun and educational but it looks great up on the door too. So colourful!

  10. Where were you when I was formulating my dislike of maths in the early years lol! Such great ideas you have to interest kids in learning and having fun with maths!

  11. We have a sticky window on the go at the moment but it is unstructured and more for explorative play. I love the idea of setting it up like yours for learning. I know my girls would love using this technique to practice their numbers. Great job of making learning fun!!

  12. Love these window sticky ideas. I think the novelty brings a lot of fun into the learning.

  13. This is great! I love how you've set it up! :) And teen numbers! Go you!

  14. Another fan of sticky walls here :) Thanks for another great maths post.

    I've just referenced you on my websites blog ( as a great place to visit for maths games at home -

    Let me know if you want to me to remove your link.

    Keep up the good work


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