For this activity, Jacob worked with the numbers 1-10. However, this can easily be adapted to use with lower numbers (1-5) or extended to use higher.
Using objects promotes the understanding of addition as it allows children to visualise the problem and solve it by physically moving the objects together.
This is a great game to leave up for your child to re-visit.

  • 2 kitchen roll tubes
  • 3 paper cups
  • Pen
  • Blu Tack
  • Scissors 
  • Multilink cubes – you could use counters, buttons etc. instead
  • Card (2 colours)
  • Sellotape
  • Glue
  • Cut two holes in the bottom of two paper cups
  • Push the kitchen roll tubes into the cups ensuring the top of each tube is flush with the bottom of each cup (this is to stop the Multilink cubes getting caught as they fall)
  • Sellotape the tubes to secure them to each cup
  • Sellotape the tubes and cups to to the coloured card (please see photos)
  • Attach to the wall or fridge so that is upright
  • Blu-Tack a paper cup to the floor under the two tunnels
  • Explain how it works and discuss the symbols (+ and =)
  • Give your child an addition question eg. 3 + 2 (you can write it down as well if you wish)
  • Use cubes to answer the question – put 3 in one tunnel and 2 in the other tunnel. How many cubes are in the cup at the bottom?
  • Write the questions on a whiteboard / magnetic board / paper for your child to write the answer (developing number formation)
  • Ask your child to write their own addition questions (developing number formation) – great for discussion of numbers
  • Write some questions on post-its and stick next to the Addition Tunnel – this is a great activity for your child to do independently
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Mathematics

“Multilink cubes” are a great resource to support your child with Maths and are widely used in nurseries and schools. They are a visual, interactive way to teach a range of mathematical concepts to all ages. They snap together (developing fine motor skills and hand / eye co-ordination) and are easy for little hands to use.