Using Fingers

Purpose:

The purpose of this activity is to help your child learn number combinations within 5 and 10. For example 2 and 3 is 5, 6 and 4 is 10.

What to do:

Work with five fingers at first, developing knowledge of number combinations of 5.

  • Ask your child to hold up the fingers of one hand.
    How many fingers have you got?
  • Ask your child questions about making 5, for example:
    Show me 2 fingers. How many fingers to make 5?
    Show me 4 fingers. How many fingers to make 5?
  • Ask your child questions about taking away from 5, for example:
    Show me 5 fingers. If you tuck 3 away how many would be left standing?
    Show me 5 fingers. If you tuck 1 away how many would be left standing?
  • Work through all the combinations of 5 in this way.

Once your child knows the combinations of 5 confidently, use 10 fingers to develop their knowledge of the combinations of 10. Make sure children "use up" the fingers on one hand before using the second.

What to expect your child to do:

  • Be able to instantly recognise combinations of numbers that add to 5: 1 and 4, 3 and 2, 5 and 0.
  • Be able to instantly recognise combinations of numbers that add to 10: 1 and 9, 2 and 8, 3 and 7, 4 and 6, 5 and 5, 10 and 0.

Related Māori vocab:

addition facts meka tāpiritanga
subtraction facts meka tangohanga

He Whakawhitinga Kōrero:

  • Whakaaturia ngā matimati o tō ringa mauī. (Show me the fingers of your left hand.)
  • E hia ngā matimati? (How many fingers?)
  • Whakaaturia kia rua ngā matimati. E hia atu anō ka rima? (Show me two fingers. How many more to make 5?)
  • Whakaaturia kia rima ngā matimati. Tangohia kia whā. E hia e toe mai ana? (Show me 5 fingers. Take away 4. How many left?)

Download a file of this activity:

PDF (189KB)