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 (1-15 or 1-20).

Using a bigger plate would allow you to go even higher!

  • 1 x paper plate
  • Pen
  • Blu Tac
  • Scissors (Jacob used “easy grip” scissors*)
  • Coloured strips of card (a pile for repeating the activity)
  • Draw a face on the paper plate
  • Blu-Tac the cardboard strips on the back
  • Count the “hairs” together (we had 10)
  • Tell your child that he is the hairdresser and ask how many hairs he would like to cut off (Jacob said “14” which opened up a discussion on higher / lower numbers. He then said “4”)
  • Write out the calculation 10-4= explaining what each symbol means and relating it to the hair cut
  • Ask your child to cut off the hair (developing cutting skills)
  • Ask your child to count how many hairs are left and ask him to write in the answer (developing number formation)
  • Repeat with the hairs that are left, or add more. Jacob loved putting the hairs on himself (developing fine motor skills)
  • Vary the activity – we have used a man with a beard and a cat with whiskers that need a trim!
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

*”Easy Grip” scissors are the perfect ‘first scissors’ for early cutting skills. They are light, self-opening and far easier to use than conventional scissors as they do not require as much finger and wrist strength. They are also ideal for children who have not yet established a hand dominance as they can be swapped from left to right hands.