Numbers You Can Count On


Texture and counting meet creativity and expression as children model numbers and explore arithmetic.


1. Choose a favorite one-digit number.

2. Knead Crayola® Model Magic, and roll it into a 3/4-inch (2 cm) coil. Shape the coil into the desired numeral.

3. Create the same number of dents, holes, ridges, or impressions as the numeral represents. These are some possible methods for making them deep or high enough to feel:

  • Carve or press with plastic knives, wooden spoons, and other found objects.
  • To make contrasting inlays, poke a hole with a pencil eraser, then drop a small Model Magic ball into the hole and press firmly.
  • Make narrow, crosswise dents by pressing the blunt side of a plastic knife into the coil. Add contrasting strips of color by laying small coils of another color into the dents. Press firmly.
  • Pinch Model Magic up to make ridges and bumps. Fill with small coils of another color, and pinch to hold in place.

    Safety Guidelines

    Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

    Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

    • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
    • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
    • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
    • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
    • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
    • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
    • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

    Modeling Tools—Use the least dangerous point or edge sufficient to do the job. For example, craft sticks, plastic knives and forks, and cookie cutters can cut or carve modeling materials.


    • Match numerals with children who can benefit from additional hands-on work with math concepts.
    • Children make up addition or multiplication problems for each other or themselves with the numerals. Find solutions by counting the bumps or ridges. Try subtraction, too.

    Related Lesson Plans

  • Lesson Plans

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    crayola supplies
    • Model Magic®
    household supplies
    • modeling tools



    • Pre-K and Kindergarten
    • Grades 1 to 3
    • Special Needs


    • Math
    • Visual Arts


    • Less than 1/2 hour
    • 30 to 60 minutes
    • Multiple Sessions


    • Students reinforce their knowledge about the meaning of number by designing a numeral that represents math concepts through texture (impressions, ridges, dents, holes).

    • Children use their numerals to do simple addition and multiplication calculations, or to make sets.


    Research Canada Standards
    Research UK Standards
    Research U.S. Standards