Improving Numeracy with Our Valentine’s Sums Machine!

It’s that time of year again…! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the school holidays so it’s time to keep the little ones busy. Miss 6 has sums to practice during the holidays and following the success with our “Frozen” Reading Machine, I thought it would be fun to try a very simple Valentine’s Sums/Addition Machine.

I cut out a heart shape out of red paper and then traced around one of the foam heart shapes to make a sums template. We then wrote numbers starting from zero upwards on the foam hearts. This is useful for getting little ones practising number writing and getting them in the correct order.

Valentine's Sums Machine 7
Fun and it looks pretty

I then laid out the invitation ‘to play’ for Miss 6 and without too much prompting, she started playing with the numbers and making up her own sums.                              Valentine's Sums Machine

How do your children learn to do sums in your country? In my daughter’s school in France, they start by taking the largest number of the two and they ‘put’ it in their heads (see how Miss 6 places her hand on her head) and then they take the other number on their fingers and add them together. I don’t remember how I learnt but it certainly seems to work well when the children are first starting out with sums.

Sums Collage

This activity could easily be adapted for older children – simply change the plus sign for a minus or a multiplication symbol. Just make sure you have enough foam hearts ♥ !


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