Magic Number – A Subitising Game

Magic Number - A subitising game for young children

I have been practising subitising and subitising and MORE subitsing with the five year olds in our classroom.  There are lots of fun ways to learn this skill! Learning to subitise is a super important foundation maths skill for young children, they can never get enough of it.

You can find more subitising games here >>> Learning About Numbers – Subitising and Number Recognition

Here is a simple game that we’ve been playing. You might like to try it out with the four and five year olds in your life.

Magic Number

Number of players: 1 (a whole class can play this at the same time)

You will need:

  • 1 six sided die
  • 1 whiteboard (or piece of paper)
  • 1 whiteboard marker (or pencil)
  • 1 dice mat*

*the dice mat is just for making the sound of 24 children rolling dice a little quieter!!

How to play:

  • Think of a ‘magic number’ from 1 – 6.
  • Roll the dice onto your dice mat and into your bear cave. A what now? A bear cave means slightly cupping your hand on the desk as a little gutter to stop the dice from rolling off the table. It helps prevent over eager dice rollers!!
  • Look at the number on the dice and say it to yourself, eg. if you roll a 6, say “six!”
  • If the number you’ve rolled is your magic number, draw a tally mark on your whiteboard.
  • Keep playing and adding tally marks to your board every time you roll your magic number.
  • See how many magic numbers you can roll!

Adults might not think that this simple game is much fun but kids who are just learning about number get super excited when they see their magic number appear!

Here are some other subitising activities that I use in the classroom:

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