This Lego activity helps kids have fun while comparing and ordering numbers. It’s clear for them to see which tower of bricks is taller.
They will soon learn that the taller tower they make represents the bigger number. Once they know this, they can learn which way round the ‘greater than’ and ‘lesser than’ symbols should go.
It’s a simple, hands-on and visual way to learn number ordering and how to use the less-than and more-than signs.
Time: 10 minutes
Ages: Little kids to Big kids
Difficulty to make: Easy peasy
Skill: Comparing and ordering numbers
Disclosure: may contain affiliate links
You will need:
- Print out our free Number Card Printables. If you prefer to make your own you can do this by writing out some large numbers on white card.
- Lego bricks. 10 bricks each of 2 different colours. If you don’t have any to hand, here’s a Lego DUPLO set on Amazon.
Step 1: Print out your number cards
Print out your number card mats.
Links to free printables:
If you prefer you can make your own by writing each number from 1-10 on white card. Cut out a square or circle around it to make your own number cards.
You will also need a ‘<‘ symbol and a ‘>’ symbol for the second activity.
Step 2: Cut out the number cards
Cut each number mat printable into 6 parts. You should now have a set of number cards from 1-10. You should also have cards with the two symbols: ‘<‘ and ‘>’ but you can set these two aside for now.
Shuffle the number cards and place them face down on the table.
Comparing Numbers Activity
Ask your child to pick a card and see what number is on it.
Can they count out the same number of Lego bricks? Once they have counted out the right amount ask them to make a tower with their bricks.
Now ask your child to pick a second number card, count out the bricks and build a tower for that number too.
Let them place their two towers side by side. Which tower is taller?
Here we have picked a 3 and a 6. Your child can see that the tower for 6 is taller.
Ask them which number is bigger 3 or 6? They should be able to see that 6 is the bigger number, as it has made the tallest tower.
Practice with lots of different number pairs
Keep playing the game, choosing different pairs of number cards and building towers. When your child puts the numbers side by side can they tell you which number is bigger?
As they play you could reinforce their learning by repeating what they have learned. You could say: ‘Well done. We can see that 7 is bigger than 4’.
If you have extra Lego bricks you could also ask your child to place all the number cards in the correct order.
Start by making a tower for each number card from 1-10. Place each tower on the corresponding number card.
Then ask your child to lay out each set (a number card and lego brick tower) in order so that they go up from 1 – 10.
When they’re laid out in order, can your child see that with each ascending number the tower gets 1 brick taller? Each number is 1 more than the last.
Which number is greater than or less than the other?
If you think your child is ready you could show them the two cards with the special mathematical symbols for ‘greater than’ (>) and ‘less than’ (<).
Pick out 2 number cards again. You could ask your child to look at the symbols and notice that the small pointy end points towards the smaller number and the wide open space points to the bigger number.
In this example they can put down the < symbol to show that 3 is smaller than 6.
Practice using the ‘more than’ and ‘less than’ symbols
In this example your child should choose the > symbol to show that 7 is bigger than 4.
Keep playing, counting out different number pairs into Lego towers and placing them next to each other. Then choose the right symbols and place them between the pairs of numbers.
Comparing and ordering numbers with Lego bricks
By seeing and holding Lego brick towers which represent each number, your child can understand what that number means and how it relates to other numbers.
Soon your child will know instinctively which number is bigger than the other and will be able to place the right symbol between the two. Hopefully with this interactive activity, they’ll have enjoyed learning it along the way too!