Bottle cap maths
  • } Target level: KS1 and KS2
  • c Time: 20 minutes
  • u Links to art

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.


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.