Build Your Own Number Sliders!

Play Math Games with Number Sliders

Slide your way into math success in the new year with a fun math activity featuring homemade number sliders your students will love! This hands-on math craft is easy to put together and helps little ones practice a wide variety of math concepts, from place value to patterns and number sequences. Read on to learn how your students can make their own number sliders and use them to practice math skills!

Why Number Sliders? 

Are you looking for a math manipulative tool that will help you and your little ones explore elementary math concepts in a new way this year? These number sliders have you covered! Easy to make and requiring only a handful of supplies, you and your students will have a lot of fun putting these number sliders together and using them to practice basic addition and subtraction, place value, and more. 

Be sure to tag @iknowit_com on social media if you make these number sliders as a class. We love checking out your elementary math adventures! 

How to Make Number Sliders 

Elementary Math Craft

Here is what you will need to make this math craft: 

  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • pencil 
  • ruler 
  • marker

First, decide how many panels you would like your number sliders to have. We recommend two, three, or four panels. The number of panels you choose will depend on the types of math concepts you want your students to practice, such as three- or four-digit place value. 

Once you choose how many panels your number sliders will have, cut out equal strips from a sheet of construction paper using a pencil, a ruler, and scissors. These will be your panels. 

Math Sliders Activity

Next, label each panel with a set of consecutive numbers. You can use the same set of numbers on each panel or different number sets. As an option, you may want to laminate the panels and write the numbers on them with a dry erase marker. This way you can reuse the panels to practice with different sets of numbers. 

Math Sliders Craft

Then, make the frame for the number panels to slide through. Use a ruler and a pencil to draw evenly spaced dashes where you intend to cut slits in the paper. Students can also decorate this page with a descriptive label. 

Number Sliders Activity

Use a pair of scissors to cut slits in the paper along the dash marks you made in the previous step. It can be helpful to pinch the paper together between your fingers to help you cut along the dash marks. 

Number Sliders Craft

If you decide to laminate your number panels, also laminate the frame to create a totally reusable craft. Either way, weave the number panels into the frame to complete the number slider. 

Practice Math Skills with Number Sliders

Now your students can use the number sliders to practice a variety of math concepts!

How to Use Number Sliders

Here are a few different ways you and your students can use number sliders to practice math concepts: 

  • Place Value - Call out a number you want students to display on their number sliders. You can call specific numbers at random or tell students to display a number that fits a specific set of parameters, such as any number with a 4 in the tens place. You could also ask students to display a "challenge number," such as the smallest or largest number they can make with the place value digits on their number sliders.
  • Even and Odd Numbers - Ask your students to display a variety of even and odd numbers with their number sliders. 
  • Patterns and Number Sequences - Ask your students to show different number patterns, like even and odd numbers, skip counting patterns, ascending or descending number patterns, or prime numbers with their number sliders. 
  • Addition and Subtraction - Practice addition and subtraction problems with number sliders. Display a problem on the board for kids to answer with their number sliders. Or use each of the panels in the number slider as the addends and sum of an addition problem or subtrahend, minuend, and difference of a subtraction problem. This activity works especially well if the number sliders are laminated and you can add a plus or minus sign and an equal sign between the panels. 
  • Group Activities and Classroom Games - Use the number sliders in group games and activities as a fun way for kids to display their answers to the math problems you ask them to solve. 

These are just a few ideas for using number sliders to practice math skills in your classroom or at home. The possibilities are endless! If you try out this math craft with your students, be sure to let us know how it goes and which math skills you practiced together. Drop us a line in the comment section below. We love hearing from you! 

If you are looking for more fun, interactive math activities to engage your students in math practice, check out the hundreds of math lessons in our collection on


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