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Busy Bag Idea: Number Wheel

Many of you have asked for Busy Bag Ideas for preschoolers, so here’s one that Kaitlynn (4) has enjoyed (this was one of the Busy Bags in the Busy Bag Swap Box):

The Number Wheel is just a simple laminated circle, divided into ten “slices” plus ten clothespins with numbers 1-10 written on them. Each slice on the Number Wheel has a different number of dots in it that correspond with the numbers on the clothespins.

The object of this activity is for the child to match up the dots in each slices with the numbers on the clothespins. It not only teaches basic math and matching skills, but also has some fine motor skills practice thrown in, too.

Download a free printable Number Wheel here. There are also some variations on the Clothespin Number Wheel idea here. Find more Busy Bag ideas here.

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  • Ashley C says:

    I’ve also seen this done with colors.

    • Stacy says:

      I made a color one for 2-3 year olds. You could also do letters of the alphabet (maybe with stickers that you could change out since you can’t get all 26 letters on one).

  • Katie says:

    I love it! And as soon as I saw this, I thought of another way to adapt it, too– Write out the number names (one, two, etc.) on the clothespins and have the child clip them to the correct number (1, 2, etc.) on a ruler.

  • Mel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these. The ideas are great for new homeschooling mom like me on a budget! : ) Looking forward to trying all these out!

  • Mrs. R. says:

    This is great–but couldn’t find it. All I got directed to was a long list of “workboxes”….can someone help, please? And I didn’t find it on that page. (Didn’t have too long to look, tho!)

    Did find the variations page OK.


  • Becky says:

    This is great! We have a mission organization where we are always looking for things to do with children. By tweaking this a little bit it could be a Bible story project. AND we homeschool so I could see tweaking it to learn about fractions. Thanks!

  • Jenn says:

    Anybody else having a hard time finding the printable from the link?

  • Lorie says:

    I love all the busy bag ideas however, I discovered recently when I got the clothes line out for my daughter, that my 18mo DS wants to do nothing but pull apart the clothes pins resulting in my daughter asking for more. So, instead of the activity keeping them busy it just kept them coming back for more. Oh, well! 🙂

  • Mandy W says:

    Thanks you so much for posting all of these!!! I am excited to make up a few of the ideas for my kids in the next few weeks.

  • Nicole says:

    I love this idea! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Nancy says:

    I did this with coins. I glued plastic coins to the wheel and have the amounts written on the clothespins to match.

  • Sara says:

    I participated in that swap, and so cool that you posted that picture because that was the one I put together! I am pretty sure that is the one I made too (does it have simple math on the back for the older child?). My kids are loving all the bags we got.

  • Leah says:

    When you go to the long list and click on number wheel, it just redirects you back to the first page? Any suggestions?

  • Courtney says:

    Love the coin idea!!!! Thanks!!

  • Floppy Elephant says:

    I can’t find the link, either.

  • Kendra says:

    Love this idea! Also love reading about all the variations that people come up with!

  • I participated in the Unsolicited Advice swap for the first time this year. After becoming ADDICTED to busy bags and not knowing when she would host another swap I started a swap locally. We met up today and it was PERFECT. I am hosting a GIVEAWAY for a loot of 10 Tot Busy Bags on my blog to celebrate future swaps and will soon spill the beans on how to host a swap EASILY with local friends.


  • April says:

    We love this activity. I have done it with numbers, colors and even money. I have also seen it done with addition facts. I am not sure why the little ones I nanny for love it so much. But all that matters is that they do.

  • Colleen says:

    So many great ideas! I canno’t wait to impliment them with my littles!

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