Bottle caps

Learning objectives

To play with number sentences and practice basic mathematical skills.

Resources needed

  • Bottle caps or pebbles
  • Paints or pens
  • Paper



  • Write numbers 0 to 9 and basic mathematical symbols (+, ×, −, ÷, =) on bottle caps. Alternatively, pebbles or pieces of paper can be used.
  • Form number sentences using the bottle caps. E.g., 1 + 4 = 5.
  • You could make short games or challenges by seeing who can produce an answer closest to a set number or who can make the highest number with the most bottle caps.
  • Older students should aim to combine caps to form double- or triple-digit numbers. E.g., 51 + 23 = 74.

Bottle cap maths

Ways to include all learners

  • Use whatever resources you have to hand, including writing on paper.
  • Instead of writing numbers, puncture 0 to 9 holes in the bottle caps (under adult supervision) so that students can feel them.


This activity was devised by Ezgi Unlu, Plymouth Institute of Education, University of Plymouth.

Research with Plymouth Institute of Education