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Outdoor Maths Uncaged: The Freedom of Thermoplastic Number Squares

Number squares playground markings


Are you looking for fun ways to bring a little more maths into your playground? You're probably familiar with number grids or giant snakes and ladders boards, but they can be a little on the large side. Maybe your playground isn't quite the right shape for a big square and you need something with a more relaxed, adjustable structure. We're big fans of thinking outside the box at Signet Play, but in this case we've removed it completely, and released a flock of bright and colourful 1-20 number squares into the playground. They're coming out of their cage, and they are doing just fine.

Key Takeaways

  1. Allows many games to be played.

  2. Great value for money.

  3. Customisable.

  4. Install in formation, or scatter across the playground.

  5. Made from hardwearing thermoplastic.

1-20 Number Squares

1-20 number squares grid playground markings

What are they made from?

Like all our playground markings, each number square is made from from high-quality, anti-slip thermoplastic material. Each 300mm square and pre-cut number is laid out in the desired location and heated with a blow-torch, causing it to melt into the tarmac. Unlike traditional paint which sort of just sits on top of the surface, the melted thermoplastic fills all the nooks and crannies in the porous surface and creates a firm bond. At this point, we add an extra sprinkle of anti-slip beading for good measure to help prevent any surprise skidding.

How can I use them?

One of the great things about these educational playground markings is that they are great to encourage both creative play and creative teaching. Each individual component is it's own entity, giving you absolute freedom to choose how and where to install them. If you wanted to keep the thermoplastic squares together in a grid-like formation, you absolutely can. You could stick with numerical order, or switch things up. Does it have to be a grid? They work just as well in a circle, or a line outside a classroom. Scrap the concept of shapes altogether, throw caution to the wind and scatter them across the whole playground.

They lend themselves brilliantly to adding a dose of fun to maths games that require a bit of brain power. Introduce a game where children have to find the correct answer to a maths question. For example, you might call out "what's 3x4?" and watch the children scatter across the playground in a lively hunt for the number 12. Transform a simple multiplication question into an exhilarating physical and mental exercise not only enlivens teaching and learning maths, but creates a tangible and physical connection with the numbers. It also puts their calculation skills to the test; without the answers being immediately visible among the scattered numbers, it encourages them to dig deeper and develop their maths skills as they seek the solution.

For added layer of drama and competition, you could make it a race. This helps to encourage additional strategic thinking, as children try to work out the fastest physical route to the correct answer in order to be declared the winner.

How much do they cost?

£250 plus VAT, making the number squares one of the best value maths playground markings we offer.

Can you customise them?

Yes! Take your pick from a wide range of colours, shapes and fonts. Why not mix it up? Odd numbers could be square, even numbers circular (or the other way around). Our base package includes numbers 1 to 20, but it doesn't have to stop there. Create more maths challenges by adding to the range and going from 1 to 50...and beyond.


Whether you opt for a structured formation or decide to scatter them whimsically around the playground, these durable, cost-effective, and customisable markings offer endless possibilities to engage children in mathematical thinking. From spirited races to strategic games, every activity is an opportunity to enhance numerical skills, encourage problem solving, and most importantly, have a blast while doing so. So, why stick to the conventional? Think outside the grid.

If you'd like to discuss your own playground project, get in touch or book a site survey today for a personalised quote.


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