St John's C of E Primary School

Minion Maths Challenge

Monday 1st June: Lego Subtraction Tower

Minion has been building towers with his Lego over the half term. It gave him an idea for a game!

‘Lego subtraction!’

Build a tower of 10 (or 20 if 10 is too easy), roll the dice and take away that many Lego bricks. How many have you got now? Can you write the number sentence? 

Play with your Mum/Dad or brother/sister. Race to see who can dismantle their tower first! 




Tuesday 2nd June: Double Dominos

Minion has been learning his doubles. When you double a number you add the same number together. He made his own double dominos. He used paint to finger print up to 10 spots on a strip of paper. To double the number, Minion folds the paper to print the spots on the other side. Now he has double the amount of spots! So now he knows, double 2 is 4, double 3 is 6 and double 4 is 8.

Can you make your own double dominos? 




Wednesday 3rd June: Halving using part-part-whole method

Minion has been halving amounts. He has counted out 6 Lego pieces into the top circle (the whole number). He then puts one Lego piece at a time in each smaller circle (the part) until he hasn’t got any left. Each circle has 3 Lego pieces. Now Minion knows that half of 6 is 3.

Can you have a go at halving numbers using the part-part-whole method? 


Challenge: What do you notice about odd numbers? Can you halve them?




Thursday 4th June: Lego repeating patterns

Minion has been making repeating patterns with his Lego. Can you finished the pattern? Can you describe the pattern. For example, white, blue, white, blue. Can you make your own repeating pattern? 




Friday 5th June: 10s pattern

Minion has been exploring the 10s pattern. He made number cards with the 10 numbers on.

He has put them in order.

What do you notice about the 10s pattern?

Have fun watching and singing along to this fun counting by 10s song:

Monday 18th May 2020: Sequencing your day (time language)

Minion has been ordering his day using time language like: today, this morning, last night, yesterday, later, this evening, tomorrow, tonight.

Yesterday was Sunday. Minion had a lazy day and stayed in his pyjamas all day. Today is Monday. Minion woke up early and did some exercise. Then he had his breakfast and did his homework for the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, he had some lunch and played in the garden. In the evening, he had his dinner and watched TV. He went to bed at night time. I wonder what Minion will do tomorrow?

Can you think about your day, maybe you could take photos/draw pictures and write about it? Can you use time language?

Challenge: write about your week - paying close attention to the days of the week.


Tuesday 19th May 2020: Dice and Ice Tray: Number sentences

Minion has made a dice by simply sticking some paper around a stock cube. He has been rolling it and using an ice tray to work out the number sentences. He rolled the dice, counts out the amount to fill the tray and repeats. Can you find the total?

Can you have a go at some ‘dice and ice’ number sentences? You could roll the dice and take away an amount too. Have fun!


Wednesday 20th May 2020: Estimating Time

Minion has been challenging himself to see how many star jumps he can do in a minute. He estimates how many he thinks he can do before starting. He estimates that he can do 50. But when he tries, he can only mange 22! Remember to only count one number for one star jump.

Can you beat Minion? See how many star jumps you can do in one minute. Challenge your Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to estimate how many they can do first!


Thursday 21st May 2020: Window Counting

Minion has enjoyed looking out of the window and watching the world go by. He has seen 3 cars, 8 birds and 3 dogs walk past. He has written them down. He can use a number sentence to work out how many cars and dogs he saw altogether. He saw 6 cars and dogs. 3+3=6

Look out of your window. What can you see? How many birds do you see? Do you see any cars? How many? How many trees can you see? Write it down. How many trees and birds did you see? Can you write the number sentence.


Friday 22nd May 2020: 5s pattern

Minion has been practising his 5s pattern. He has drawn around Mrs Harborne’s hands (as he only has 3 finger, not 5) and used them to count. Can you count in 5s? Draw and cut around your hands to help you. What do you notice about the 5s pattern? All the numbers end in 0 or 5.

Monday 11th May 2020: Addition Machine

Minion has made an addition machine. He used a box and two toilet rolls. Now he can add two numbers together, finding the total, using his new machine.

He puts 7 counters (he just used scrunched up pieces of paper. You could use marbles, small balls or anything you have at home) into one tube and 4 counters into the other. Then he could count all the counters in the basket at the bottom to find the total. He then wrote the number sentence.

Can you make an addition machine? Can you write the number sentences you solve? Remember to count carefully.


Tuesday 12th May 2020: Shape Hunt

Minion has been using the empty toilet rolls that we used on Friday for bowling as binoculars. He has been looking for different shapes around his home. He has found some 2D and 3D shapes. He has been giving clues to Mrs Harborne and she has to guess which shape it is. Can you work out what shape he is describing?

‘It is a flat 2D shape. It has 4 equal sides and 4 corners. What shape can I see?’

‘This shape has 1 curved face and no corners. It is a solid 3D shape. What shape can I see?’

Can you go on a shape hunt?

Take it in turns to look for and describe shapes, as well as listening to clues and work out what shape your Mum/Dad/brother/sister can see.


Wednesday 13th May 2020: Number bonds snap

Minion has made some playing cards. He has written all the numbers that make 10. He has been taking it in turns with Mrs Harborne to turn over two cards. And shouts ‘SNAP!’ when he gets two numbers which make 10.

To play: write numbers 1-10 twice on pieces of paper. Turn them all over. Have fun playing!

Can you do other number bonds?


Thursday 14th May 2020: Estimation

Minion has been estimating how many objects are in the jar. Some of his estimations were really close! But it doesn’t matter that they weren’t the correct. He made sensible guesses.

Can you find jars/boxes/containers and fill them with different objects? Remember – estimating means a sensible guess. Don’t count until you have estimated. Then you can count to check if you were close!


Friday 15th May 2020: 2s pattern

Minion has been practising his 2s pattern. He has found socks and paired them together so he can count in twos. Can you count in 2s? What do you notice about the 2s pattern?


Monday 4th May 2020: Missing Number

Minion has made some number cards. He has put the numbers in order. But cheeky Mrs Harborne keeps taking a number and hiding it until Minion can tell her what the number is! Can you work out which number Mrs Harborne has taken? Can you make a number line? Close your eyes and ask an adult to hide a number. Can you work out which number is missing? How do you know?



Tuesday 5th May 2020: Length

Minion has a banana (albeit a little brown). Bananas are his favourite. Minion wants to use the banana to measure objects in his house. He wants to find things around the house that are longer and shorter than the banana. He has found a spoon and a yellow flower. Can you estimate (have a sensible guess) which object you think is going to be longer than the banana? Can you estimate which is shorter?

Let’s find out. Were you right?

Can you choose an object in your house and estimate which objects will be longer/shorter? Compare them to find out.


Wednesday 6th May 2020: Distance

Minion has made a paper aeroplane. He has been throwing it to see how far it goes. Sometimes he throws it and it lands far away from him. But sometimes it lands near to him. Can you make a paper aeroplane and see how far yours goes? Maybe you could ask an adult or a brother or sister to play too. See whose aeroplane goes the furthest?



Thursday 7th May 2020: Number bonds

Minion has found a hanger and some pegs at home. He has been sliding them across to find different ways of making 10. He has written the number sentence. Can you have a go? How many pegs have you got on your hanger? The total/answer will always be the same because the amount doesn’t change. How many different ways can you make 10? Can you write the number sentence?

What other numbers can you make? How many different ways can you make that number? Don’t forget to write the number sentences.


Friday 8th May 2020: Subtraction

Minion has been playing 10 pin bowling. He has used 10 empty toilet rolls and a ball (if you don’t have enough toilet rolls, you could use empty bottles or plastic cups). He rolls the ball (you could use an orange or anything that is a sphere shape that will roll) and tries to knock down as many as he can. Then he counts how many he has knocked down and writes the number sentence.

Can you have a go at playing 10 pin bowling?

Monday 27th April 2020: One more bingo

Minion has been learning how to play one more bingo. He has written down 6 numbers. When Mrs Harborne calls out a number, Minion has to cross off the number that is ONE MORE than the number Mrs Harborne said. For example, when Mrs Harborne called out ‘7’, Minion had to cross out number 8.

Why don’t you have a go at playing one more bingo? You could play with your older brothers or sisters or an adult. Write down your 6 numbers (could be 0-10 or 0-20). The winner is the person who crosses out all their numbers first.

Have fun!


Tuesday 28th April 2020: Weight

Minion has been helping to put the shopping away. Some things were just too heavy for him to lift! But some things were nice and light. Which one do you think is the lightest? Why? Can you find things in your house that are heavy and light? Can you compare two objects? Which one is lighter/heavier? Can you put them in order? Which one is the heaviest?



Wednesday 29th April 2020: One less throwing game

Minion has been playing another fun game! This time he is practising one less. He has written out his numbers 1-10 and put them in order on the floor to make a number line. Mrs Harborne has been calling out ‘One less than..’ and Minion has had to throw the ball and get it to land on the correct number. Can you have a go at playing the one less game? If you don’t have a ball, you could use an orange or a sandwich bag of rice (like a bean bag). What do you notice about the numbers when you are finding one less? Are they getting bigger or smaller? If you have chalk and access to a garden, you could draw the numbers on the ground and jump on them instead. Equally, you could play bingo but cross off numbers that are one less instead.


Thursday 30th April 2020: Money

Minion has found some spare change. But he doesn’t know how much each coin is worth. Can you help him? Can you name each coin? Which one is 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p? Some coins will have the number on to help you. Notice the size and colour of each coin. Can you name the coin without looking at the number? Can you sort any coins into piles at home? You could do coin rubbing – you just need to put a coin under the paper and rub the crayon, on its side, over the top.

Challenge: Can you find the total amount by adding two coins together? For example, 5p + 2p = ?. If you needed 8p to buy some sweets, how could you make 8p? Remember there is no 8p coin. If you gave the shop keeper 10p, how much change would they give you?


Friday 1st May 2020: Capacity

Minion has been thinking about capacity. He has been using water to fill glasses so that they are full, half full and pouring all the water out again so that they are empty. If you can, go outside and have fun exploring capacity. Can you fill cups/containers so that they are nearly full and nearly empty?

If you can, please use containers that are plastic. Please take care if you are using cups made of glass. Please be accompanied by an adult.

Challenge: Which glass/cup/container do you think will hold the most water? To find out, use the same cup to fill each glass, counting the amount of cups you use each time.

Monday 20th April 2020: Doubling

Minion has tried to make banana pancakes this morning but he needs to double all of the ingredients in the recipe. Can you help him?

What else can you double? Remember, to double you need twice as many - the same number two times. 

Tuesday 21st April 2020: Positional Language

Minion has been playing hide and seek with Ronnie's toy box. Can you describe where Minion is in relation to the toy box. Remember to use under, on top, next to/beside, in front and behind

Can you follow an adult's instructions and place a toy under, on top, next to/beside, in front and behind an object?

Wednesday 22nd April 2020: Halving items/objects

Minion has been busy helping in the kitchen. With the help of Mrs Harborne to ensure he stays safe, he has cut a cucumber and an orange in half. He has also filled a glass of water up so that it is half full. Can you fold, bend or cut things in half? Can you fill a glass up so that it is half full? 

Challenge: You can halve numbers too! Can you halve 6? What about 10? Count out 8 objects, split them into two groups, how many does each group have? So half of 8 is...

Thursday 23rd April 2020: Writing Numbers 

Minion has been practising his number formation. He has worked hard to make sure his 9 is facing the right way. He has also remembered that when writing his teen numbers 'the teeny weeny one comes first'. Can you practise writing your numbers to 20? Try to make sure your numbers are facing the right way. And remember our trick for writing number 8 - S and then join it up. 

Friday 24th April 2020: 2D and 3D shapes in our environment 

Minion has been on a shape hunt. He has found 2D (flat shapes) and 3D (solid/fat shapes) around the home. Can you name the shapes he has found? Can you describe their properties? 

For example: Minion has found a plate. It is a circle.

It is a flat shape so it is a 2D shape. It has one curved side and no corners.

Minion found a circle and a square. As well as a cylinder, a sphere, a cuboid and even a pyramid. 

What shapes can you find in your home?

Monday 30th March: Addition 

Oh no! Minion only had 2 toilet rolls left. He went to the shop and bought 4 more toilet rolls. How many toilet rolls does minion now have altogether? Can you write it as a number sentence? How did you work it out? You could use: objects to count, your fingers or put the big number in your head and count on. 



Tuesday 31st March: Ordering by size 

At the weekend, Minion was playing in the garden. He found these leaves and put them in order of size. Can you find things in your house or garden and put them in order of size. Can you describe them? Which one is the biggest or smallest? Can you find long and short objects too? Which one is the longest? You could use sticks, toys, pieces of pasta - anything you can find! 



Wednesday 1st April: Subtraction


Minion loves bananas! He bought 7 bananas from the shop. He was feeling hungry, so he ate 3 bananas!! Greedy minion. How many bananas does minion have left? Can you write it in a number sentence? What will you use to help you?  I’d love to see how you work it out. 


Thursday 2nd April: Time

Minion wants to show you his new watch. Do you like it? He uses his watch to know when to brush his teeth, when to eat lunch and when it is bed time. He has also used his watch to find out how many star jumps he can do in a minute. He can do 50 star jumps in a minute. Do you think you can beat that? Ask an adult to time you, you have 1 minute, ready steady go! What else can you do in a minute? 

Friday 3rd April: Pattern

Minion loves making patterns. Whilst playing in the garden, he used stones and leaves to make a pattern. Ronnie came to help too. Can you describe the pattern minion has made? Can you make a pattern of your own? You could use different food to make your pattern, like rice and peas, or draw pictures to make a pattern. Can you use 3 different objects to make a pattern?

Look, I have made a pattern with emojis...smileyyesheart​​​​​​​smileyyesheartsmileyyesheart

Easter Minion Challenge: Sharing 

Minion has noticed yellow flowers growing in the park. They are called daffodils. He likes them because they are yellow and yellow is his favourite colour. He wants to give some to his friends. Minion picks 6 daffodils. He has 3 friends. How many daffodils will each friend get? Can you draw a picture to show how you have worked it out? What can you share out at home?