DIY Number Line

Lovey and Big Buddy are both working on recognizing teen numbers. To help them I made a simple DIY number line that has turned out to be  a great tool.

DIY Clothespin Number Line...hands-on way to practice number recognition and number sense concepts with kids


The materials listed are for making one number line. But if you work with small groups of kids or in a classroom setting it may be handy to have multiple number lines to give each child an opportunity to work independently. Amazon links included for reference.

  • Paint Stick-like these but also available (and likely free) at your local hardware store.
  • Clothepins-we used eleven.
  • Permanent marker (one or two colors)
  • Ruler

Materials for number line


Use the ruler to draw a straight line down the center of the paint stirrer. I did my best to evenly space the dots along the line. I chose to label the dots and numbers for the landmark numbers in a different color to give the kids a bit of help in ordering the numbers. You may want to list them all in one color depending on the child using the number line.

You might also use the numbers 0 to 10 if you are working on different skills.

Number Order Activity

Right now the kids are working together to identify and order the numbers along the number line.

As they place the clothespins on the number line they are also working those fine motor muscles.

Learning Teen Numbers

We also play simple number games once they are done placing the numbers in order. For example, they might find the number that is 2 more than 11 or 1 less then 15.

In the classroom I would have loved to have  a set of these for kids to use in small group or even whole group math activities. Kids could identify their answers on the number line so that I could check to see that everyone is engaged and monitor how everyone is doing. 

DIY Number Line

This post has been shared at some of these fantastic link parties.

More Math and Science Activities with Fizz, Pop, Bang!

Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.

It includes 40 educational projects and 20 printables including a set of build-your-own 3D shape blocks, engineering challenge cards and a range of math games.

Learn more about Fizz, Pop, Bang! or you can buy it now!

Buy Now-Fizz Pop Bang ebook with 40 projects for ages 3 to 8 and 20 free printable resources


You Might Also Like...


  1. Lisa Barshak says:

    Love this idea!
    Question: How do you keep the marker from bleeding on the clothespins?

  2. I am going to take your idea one step farther, I have a child in Special Ed that is now working on decimals and they are really confusing her. I am going to place a decimal on one of the pins and she will love working on this. Bonus, she is also in OT, so she will be working on two things at once. Thanks for the great idea!!

  3. Great idea! I’m going to do this but from 0-10. I think on one side of the paint stick I will do it like you did. But on the other I’m going to write the numbers so she can just match them; then she can work her way up to doing it without the numbers on the paint stick.

  4. This is a great idea and I am working on it at this moment. I have had great luck getting free paint sticks at WalMart for anyone who needs to know where to go!

  5. Thanks for linking up with the Kids Co-Op party last week. I host it on Generation iKid as well as highlighted your post this week 🙂

    Jennifer @ Generation iKid

  6. Great idea! It’s both fun and practical. Thank you for sharing.

  7. This idea is adorable! I’m wishing for a kiddo that didn’t know all of his numbers yet! I think I just might have to adapt it for something…

  8. I love how simple this is and yet how professional looking! Bonus that they get to work on fine motor skills along with counting! Pinned!

  9. Neat idea! It’s times like this I miss the hardware shop ‘freebies’ of North America! I’ll be featuring you this week on Mom’s Library at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures.

  10. This is SUCH a great idea and so easy to pull together! Thanks for sharing at the After School Linky Party!

  11. Angela Meyer says:

    I love this idea and will definitely be trying it with my kiddos still struggling with the tricky teens.

  12. LOVE! What a wonderful way to reinforce those tricky teen numbers. 🙂 I’m going to be trying this out in the classroom soon! 🙂

  13. Love this idea! Pinning and scheduled a post on my FB page too 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  14. That’s an amazing idea!!!! Thanks a lot for sharing!!!!!! Just love it!!!!!!

  15. What an awesome idea. My youngest is 9, but all three of my girls would have loved working with something like this.

Speak Your Mind