visit numberland
Let's visit Numberland
Feedback from the Field

tes from the UK and the USA

The idea that the children have to negotiate, reason and justify whilst relating this to numbers, is what makes it perfect for developing
early, yet essential, problem-solving skills.

Numberland has been a delight for our preschool program

I had no idea that it would make such a big impact on our children

Even after only 1 week it is clear that number land will be a success in our school

I was looking for a fun way to bring math and numbers to the classroom

Numberland far surpassed my expectations

... a huge success in our school

It is the PreK class's favorite activity to do at school

... part of our PreK curriculum and it brings numbers alive and shows how math is important to our world 

Numberland fits in beautifully with the Early Years Curriculum. It is exploratory, learning through play, based on role play, allows children to develop their personal, social and emotional skills and "hands on"

Getting children to love maths is something I know lots of schools find difficult but this type of scheme is ideal for making maths fun!

Not only is Numberland itself a great concept but the book is a valuable tool
Numberland is a fun and exciting way to teach children about the world of numbers

We were looking for a fun way to introduce numbers and shapes to our learners. Numberland is a fantastic concept

I highly recommend Numberland to all Pre-primary Schools

... the concept has great value and offers something different to U.K. and North American early years maths approaches, as I have not seen anything like it in my subsequent explorations or conversations with early childhood education professionals

... a fantastic experience for children where number work can be easily integrated with other areas in the early years

Research I have read about early years maths through my studies and my own experience with children validates what is suggested in the Handbook 

... also ignites imagination and creativity

We started using Numberland in Year One with a group of children who are struggling counting in general. We are pleased with the response from the children

What I like most ... is the complexity of the introduction of numbers and shapes. Through Numberland the learners encounter those numbers in their relationship to other numbers. They do not learn each number as separate entity

It helps learners to extend their problem-solving abilities


... are completely enjoying it!

... have connected on an emotional level to the characters and are very enthusiastic about the Numberland sessions

... in year 1 are so excited about Numberland, they have been talking about it in school and at home

... even brought their own items from home to decorate the number gardens, and are noticing when particular numbers are said in everyday conversation

... have become excited about maths and it is so good to see how engaged they are with it all

... love the fairy tale element and the two characters

A group of girls sat for a whole afternoon making their own characters (one to four) to take home and another group made maps of Numberland, including Number Lane!

My class fully embraced the number puppets, their gardens, houses and of course their favorite, the naughty goblin Hodgeypodgey

Our learners have so much fun and can’t wait for the next number/shape to get introduced. They are more motivated and excited with each week

I very quickly witnessed children who had previously not demonstrated a keen interest in maths became very animated and active in their learning

All the equipments promote communication among learners

It also impacted on the children's speaking and listening skills as the activity sparked some interesting debates and forced the children to think more deeply about their mathematical knowledge as they challenged each other to prove their reasoning

Holleyhill Primary School, Selston (UK)

The concept of Numberland is working REALLY well for us! Reasoning and maths talk is much more prominent and interest/enthusiasm and creativity in maths is much higher than previous classes since implementing what I could find out from the internet earlier this year. Children are becoming 'producers' of maths instead of 'consumers'. Made my own resources and added some characters borrowed from another source who live in each house. LOVE IT! 
numberland ifvl hunsley primary

Hunsley Primary School, North Ferriby (UK)

When our primary maths co-ordinator and Specialist Leader in Education, Liz Russell, first saw Numberland and its amazing resources at the BCME Conference in 2014, she absolutely knew this was the perfect vehicle for engaging our first wave of Reception children in their learning about number and shape. The tactile resources encourage all of the pupils to create exciting models and use their imagination to fill each numbered house and garden with corresponding items: flowers, ladybirds, animals. When the children took their first ‘visit’ to Numberland, accompanied by a song, they were excited and charmed by the experience.

Each of the stories associated with Numberland have a magical quality which the children have been drawn to and teaching staff have been equally inspired to personalise and develop the use of Numberland resources explicitly to suit our school. On first encountering Numberland’s houses and gardens, the children’s faces said it all – you often strive for awe and wonder in Early Year settings and it clearly appeared that day. The resource was used initially to help support the children’s developing understanding of each number, 1 to 10 - their counting, their quick number recognition and their emerging deeper understanding of what each number entails – as we say, ‘the fiveness of five!’.

Not only does Numberland develop number skills and mathematical knowledge, but it also enhances children’s imagination, fine motor, critical reasoning and communication skills – even their social skills - as they learn to share, collaborate and co-operate. We look forward to further exploring the many possibilities of Numberland with our new Reception class in September.

Amy Langmead, KS1 teacher and maths-coordinator (UK)

It was a few years ago when I moved down from KS2 into KS1 (Year 1) when I came across
I had a group of children still struggling with one-to-one correspondence. I did some research and came across Numberland – it was featured on the NCETM. It sounded perfect so I emailed Barbara and ordered a copy. When I received it, I was excited at the prospect of undertaking the concept and ordered the resources needed so we could get started straight away. I initially ran Numberland as a daily intervention for 6 children in my class, they covered the Numberland program for 6 weeks and it had the exact impact I had hoped for. Their one-to-one correspondence was there, along with this new found confidence to question and explain their Mathematical understanding.
From then on, we have used Numberland to teach Maths in Reception during the Autumn Term. The children absolutely love it! They love the fairy-tale style characters, and are developing essential problem-solving skills from an early age. Numberland is the perfect tool for: engaging the children, fostering a love for Maths, developing higher-level problem solving skills, along with consolidating a deep-rooted conceptual understanding of basic number. We have recently had the addition of a Nursery, and this year Numberland has also been used in there. Once again, the children love the characters and the resources and are developing a real love for Maths.

I feel that the structure of the program is what makes it so effective. The idea that the children have to negotiate, reason and justify whilst relating this to numbers, is what makes it perfect for developing early, yet essential, problem-solving skills. The children are led to ‘teach’ the teacher, as it is up to them to explain why certain items are allowed in certain gardens. This style of ‘learning and teaching’ has been proved to be the most effective. As we all know, if we get told something – a rule or a procedure – we are unlikely to retain it on a long-term basis, but if we manage to figure a rule or procedure out for ourselves, by developing links and concepts, it is more likely that we actually understand the concept, therefore it is more likely that we will retain it. This is why Numberland is absolutely perfect for teaching those early number skills. (pdf)

Diane Hess, PreK teacher at the Teddy Bear Junction Child Development Program, Plano, Texas (USA)

This program has surpassed my biggest expectations. I left Carola’s training and just knew I had to incorporate it into our school.  I had no idea that it would make such a big impact on our children.
Thavisit numberlandnk you so much for developing this program and thank you for bringing the training and materials to the United States.  I am very grateful.  I know that we are providing our children with a strong foundation through Numberland.
My team and I have a PreK class of 17 children in Plano, TX.  We are now in our fourth week of Numberland and parents are reporting to us that their children are telling them that they have to be at school on the Numberland days. And, not a day goes by that one of our children doesn’t make a reference to Numberland by pointing out the number we are on and finding objects in our world with that number or doing basic math concepts in different settings throughout our day without our prompting. They are excited about it and about the Princess and HodgeyPodgey and will say things like: oh no, HodgeyPodgey is at it again when something happens in our classroom.  They also love the stories and the Numberland Number songs as well as the gathering song.

Just to give you an idea of how well your program is working in our school….today is Monday, we did Numberland on Wednesday of last week and today someone mentioned on the playground that they found 3 shovels (we have 3 shovels in our garden bag for Number 3) and someone else mentioned HodgeyPodgey in our classroom. They also reference it when they are adding together objects and will say: Just like in Numberland.

Updates March 12, 2013visit
                    numberland texas
Although we only started it in September, 2012 - our preK class at our school has learned so much from it. We are now extending the visits and developing the lesson plans to specifically talk about adding the numbers together. ie: Add Number 10's garden to Number 1's garden and you have 11 etc. They are also discovering that if we take the actual numbers and put them together, we can see the larger number. ie: Physically placing Number 1 and Number 3 together makes Number 13 and then we talk about what Number 13's garden would look like. The opportunities for this program are endless. We are still very excited about it and so are our children.

A special visit to Number 10

Last Wednesday was a particularly busy  day for us.  It was designated as a Numberland day but we were not sure how we would fit it in.  So, instead of having NumberLand in our music room, Numberland joined our room for the day.  It was a huge success.  Princess Forget Me Not and Hodgey Podgey had a place of honor on a table in the middle of our room so they could watch everything. The children were thrilled. 
We brought in Number 10 with his garden and all his pieces and put him in our block center, we closed the blocks so that Number 10 and his garden were tvisit numberlandhe focus of that center.  Then, across the room from Number 10, were 8 and it's garden and 2 and its garden. They were placed on a table together so that the children could see that if they took two things from Number 2's garden and added it to Number 8's garden, then they would have the same amount that Number 10 had in his garden.  Wow, was that ever exciting.  We explained that to them during our arrival circle time and they got to set up and play in the gardens during our center times.
We also brought in Number Lane and to enter our classroom, they had to walk Number Lane. They were excited to have NumberLand in the room and they brought the Princess and Hodgey Podgey to "life" instead of us using the puppets.  It is a day they will remember. We also played the NumberLand CD all day long in the background.  They love the NumberLand song...."Come on children, take a hand, let's go and visit NumberLand, step by step".......they get up upon hearing the song and grab the hand of a friend so they can go and visit NumberLand. 

A day for parents

Early in February, we hosted a day for the parents to come in and see NumberLand. Our parents have really been curious about this NumberLand:)
that their children go home talking about. It took 3 announcements that day telling the parents that they could leave once the children began setting up
the gardens before parents started to leave.  I think they were so intrigued by the concept and how engaged their children were that they wanted to see
more.  It was, in our opinion, a very successful morning. 

Background knowledge with Number 9

We regard everything about NumberLand as a learning tool and utilize it as such.  For instance, Number 9's trip in the hot air balloon, we learned
about different traditions of the countries that Number 9 visited.  We pretended that he went to China and Taiwan, and Germany, and Great Britain,
and India, and the Netherlands, etc. and we circled around with our hot air balloon and did an activity from each of those countries. They were quick
little activities like dancing a jig when we went to Ireland.
We chose those countries because this year, we have students from all of those places or they have heritage there. We use the dice suggested in one of the other Numbers activities suggestions to play games as well. 

Carola Hauer-Berry, teacher at the Christian Child Development Center, Lewisville, Texas (USA)

Numberland is a fun and exciting way to teach children about the world of numbers. My class fully embraced the number puppets, their gardens, houses and of course their favorite, the naughty goblin Hodgeypodgey.visit numberland

The fantasy world of the numbers adds an intriguing aspect, the hands-on manipulatives make it a 'real' number learning experience.

I have never seen children so excited and motivated to learn about numbers as with Number Land. I also like how all kinds of information is woven into the 'Number Stories'. (For example - the 6 colors of a rainbow and how to mix colors)

Who would have known that learning about numbers is so much fun - what a great concept !!      
(More details and pictures from Carola)

Today, Numberland is part of the school's concept. In August 2012, 60 teachers were enthused by a training Carola gave on Numberland.

Reeli Tänavsuu, kindergarten teacher and head in Pärnu (Estonia)

We started to travel to Numberland in November 2011 with 4 groups of children: 2 groups age 3-4 and 2 age 5-7 years old.

visit numberland estoniaThe children were excited about the number puppets and their small houses.  All stories give challenges for them. You just have to see their surprised faces when they discover some connections in the story about the numbers! For example the story about Mayor 5’s birthday – they all got tickets to a birthday celebration and in they go just with 5, but all tickets only show numbers 1 to 4... Suddenly one 5-year girl discovered that she can go in with her friend while she has 2 and friend has 3 on the ticket. Then almost all could go in, but two children couldn’t – their tickets showed 2 and 4 which made 6 instead of 5. The teacher just asked, how they could enter and who could help? Immediately there were two children with suitable tickets, so they combined 3 with 2 and 4 with 1 and joined the Mayor’s birthday party. Is there a better way to develop empathy?

Each activity makes teachers to admit, that there are things to be surprised of on Numberland. They all have said, that every time, they “go to Numberland” with children, there are some wow-moments for them too.  They enjoy these moments with their children. Our teachers learn to accept children’s viewpoints, listen to their stories and opinion. 

As a new approach to early years mathematics,
Let’s visit Numberland was introduced to preschool teachers at their summer school August 2012. It has been adopted warmly – as something they need to teach children playfully, integrate mathematics with other subjects and give children the opportunity to acquire other skills.

Linda MacDonald, Nursery teacher (UK

We have started Numberland and the children are completely enjoying it!

Numberland fits in very well with our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for Mathematics. The book is great and explains the concept of Numberland very well.  I really like the way in which the activities and ideas embrace a whole range of mathematical concepts at the same time.

All of my children are able to name, talk about and describe simple shapes with more confidence and use of appropriate mathematical language. My children are now becoming stronger in number recognition, counting objects reliably and accurately and beginning to order numbers. With some of my children I can already see the improvement in understanding of one more, one less, and  the concepts of addition and subtraction.

The children have connected on an emotional level to the characters and are very enthusiastic about the Numberland sessions, love bringing 'gifts' to the various Numbers (in the correct quantities!!), are becoming adept at sorting out the problems that the naughty Hodgey Podgey causes, and loved making medicine for the poorly Number 4.  A group of girls sat for a

visit numberland

whole afternoon making their own characters (one to four) to take home and another group made maps of Numberland, including Number Lane!

All of this and we have only just been introduced to Number 6! 

Moritz Schwarzmann, volunteer at Yaowawit School, Kapong/Phang Nga (Thailand)

numberland at yaowawit school(After 10 classes) The students continue to surprise me about how much they understand everything we’ve been learning. When I see the students outside of class they will enthusiastically bring things that they’ve found and count them for me.

On number two: We told the kids that we were visiting number two today, and our introduction-10 minutes were started showing the kids one part of a die. They then had to say the number. After a few tries, the kid who was first to say the right number, stood up and showed the next number. Our second game was me saying a number between one and ten, and the kids had to tell the predecessor. I am still surprised how much they liked doing this, but it seems like all these very simple games are among their favourite parts of class.
numberland yaowawit schoolNow we sat in a circle and started talking about the number. If it is a number they like, if they use it a lot and what reminds them of two, both in the classroom and in general. All kids were keen on sharing their thoughts and actively involved. We had a quite amusing conversation between two kids arguing whether a bunny has four legs, or two legs and two little arms when it stands on its back paws.

After 10 or 15 minutes the kids started drawing the house and the life of number two. That meant that they drew a house with two windows, (although some were convinced number two needs two houses) some drew a garden with two lakes, two trees, a two coloured die that was having number two on the showing side etc. Again, all the kids like drawing, though some are a lot more talented than others. Even though we have not yet started a village with proper gardens for each number, they grasp each number like a character when it comes to drawing its house or garden. Some always let us approve every new idea they had.

Copyright: Barbara Schindelhauer (
16 June 2016