Project Description


Make your own adding machine

Counting machine are such a great visual way to grow addition of numbers understanding. Numbers a tricky concept to grasp and playing with numbers and what they mean in many different wasy will help our brains hold onto that information.

let’s make this little beauty


    1. Find a box
    2. Grab 2 plastic cups. Draw two circles of the top of the box using the bottoms of the cups.
    3. Cut the circles out from the box.
    4. Cut the bottoms of the out form the Cups and keep them for later to pop them into the holes you created.
    5. Cut a rectangle slit towards the bottom of the box on the front side. See photo below.
    6. Using an old cereal box cut a piece of cardboard that can slide through the slot and up behind the cup holes. Make sure it is long enough to curve inside the box and come out of the front so the balls can go down the slide.
    7. We added an optional extra too at the front of the calculator, so the balls to fall into. You can do this by making a tray from the rest of the cereal box and sitting your ‘calculo’ in.

In the video above I walk you through how to make the counting machine. It’s super easy but adding a tray to collect the counting items down the bottom its a bit more tricky. All I can say is sut out a hole and add a tray from some more recycables you have lying around AND sticky tape!

Key Addition Vocabulary to use while exploring:

  • Count
  • Addition
  • Plus
  • Add
  • Increase
  • More

The DIY Project

It’s a basically a calculator, well actually more like an adding device. All you need is a:

  • Box with two holes on the top to fit cups or plastic bottles and one down the bottm for the counters to fall out of
  • Two disposable cups or plastic bottles with the bottoms cut out
  • Some items that will fit through the holes (these are the counters)

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I’m sharing loads of DIY STEM ideas through my email list. If your a kindergarten educator or a Mum at home looking for fun play ideas, then make sure you sign up. I’ll be sending you a step by step guide to making this device in your first email. Plus every month you’ll get a free STEM calendar to help grow your play superpowers.

Tap Here To Join The Happy Explorer Club

Looking forward to seeing you on the other side of the digital mailbox. If you have any questions, then please feel free to comment below. Happy exploring!

Another amazing STEM Video

Every afternoon, well almost every, I set up a play activity for my kids to do when they come home. And they LOVE it and run to the table to check it out when they see it there. I also love the afternoon set ups because I get to talk with them while they explore and I also get to make dinner at the same time. Woop Woop, that’s without little people running around my feet while I’m cooking.

Dilution Activity

Solutions are a chemistry scientists best friend ????‍???? ???? . It is as simple as adding something to a substance to weaken it. That something is usually water ???? but not always and the substance can be many things. In the case of the cytogenetics lab, it could have been a cell solution. At home, it could be something like cordial or shampoo.

Key vocabulary:

???? Dilution
???? Concentrate
???? Solution
???? Dilute

What you need:
  • Paper Towel
  • Non-Perminate Coloured Markers
  • Water
  • Pippetts
  • Container (for the paper and water to sit in)

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