Today I want to share 5 easy ways to use number cards in the primary math classroom. I’m excited to be linking up this post with my “I Teach” friends. We’re excited to bring you a Christmas in July sale and giveaway! 

Ways to use number cards in the math classroom.

Number cards are a simple and versatile math manipulative. They are great for building number sense skills. In order to have number sense, students need to understand what numbers mean and their relationship to each other. I’m going to share ways I have used them in the classroom.


 Ideas for Using Number Cards With Young Learners
5 easy ways to use number cards in the primary classroom.

1. Early learners can use number cards in a variety of ways.  

  • Practice simple number recognition
  • Order cards to represent number order
  • Start with a number other than 1, such as 6, then have students identify the numbers that follow
  • Give students a card and have them represent that number with counters, blocks, or other manipulatives.
  • Give students a certain number of objects to count, then have them find the matching number card.
  • Give students two different number cards.  Ask them, “Which is more/less?  How do you know?”
  • Have each student choose a card.  Then, have them build towers to reflect their number.  After, towers are built, have students compare their numbers using the vocabulary, same, more, less. For example, “I have 4. 4 is more than 2.” To differentiate use smaller numbers only.
  • Use the cards to make a number book. Print cards on regular copy paper.  Have them glue each number onto a page, then illustrate that number by drawing objects to represent the number.
  • Give students a set number of cards.  Provide clues to see if they can select the correct card.  For example, “I’m thinking of a number that is one more than 6.” “I’m thinking of the number that is the same value of a nickel.” “I’m thinking of a number that tells how many legs a dog has.”
  • Have students match object cards to the number card that represents the quantity of the objects.

Use manipulatives with number cards to build number sense.

Free number card math game

Using Number Cards With Older Primary Students

  • 2. Use cards to play concentration


  • 3. Use cards to play War


  • 4. Use cards to practice addition


  • 5. Use cards to practice odd and even


I hope you have found some new ways to use number cards in your classroom.  I would love to hear of other ways you use them!  As part of your Christmas in July Sale, I am giving YOU these back to school themed number cards FREE! Simply click the Christmas in July image below.  Additionally, my entire store is 20% off for the next 3 days!

You might want to check out my Back To School All About Me Writing Journal! Just click on the image below to find it in my store!

Back To School Writing Journal



Free number cards center by Burke's Special Kids. Perfect for your young learners!

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