'Number logs' uses natural materials and crosses them with numbers. The aim of number logs is to use your sawing and counting skills. This allows children to better understand how to use tools safely and efficiently, and also gives them the opportunity to create numbers in a more tangible way.


  • Logs/Hand Saw/Safety Gloves
  • Paint/Chalk Board Paint (CBP)
  • Chalk


Collect logs from the nature environment, and use the saw to create thin discs. Safety gloves must be used to help protect the hands. Now paint the discs with either chalk board paint (CBP) or normal paint. The benefit of using CBP is that numbers and maths symbols can be altered easily. Make sure you make at least 25 number log discs and only go from 1 to 10, so that it gives you the flexibility to create bigger numbers.

You now have different ways of presenting the next task depending on the groups ability e.g. using number sentences or place values. Use CBP on a plank. Now, on that plank write a number e.g. SEVEN and the group must use their number logs to match it.

Safety Tips

Use good sawing practise, always wear a glove on your none sawing hand with the person holding the log to steady it wearing gloves but on both hands. When finished with the saw, place it down in a designated tool area.