Numbuko app

Numbuko is a virtual manipulative version of everyday colour maths materials for eary numeracy, but with many benefits, such as blocks changing colour to let children explore number patterns.

Download Numbuko activity cards here or contact us about packs of these cards.


Children join and break Numbuko blocks to make colour rods that show how numbers 1-99 work. Numbuko is a free app (no adverts/ in-app purchases) currently available on the iTunes store for iPads. 

Numbuko aims for children to freely explore independently, and learn through talk with an adult. Unlike ‘drill and practice’ apps, Numbuko lets children explore number relationships, such as addition, subtraction, fractions, odd and even, and tens and units. The app allows children to explore fundamental maths concepts for numbers 1-99, to build, save, and share creative patterns, and to construct challenges. Adding and removing colours encourages predictions, and similarly showing and hiding lines between squares prompts different methods of thinking. Including text is also an option to help in the construction of shareable resources.


Find out about the background research at Numbuko can also be found on Twitter @numbuko.

Find out more about Numbuko here

Research areas
Children & Technology
Research team

Dr Andrew Manches

Robyn Pritzker

Key contact
Dr Andrew Manches

CAHSS impact award £2,855


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Centre Co-director (Children and Technology), Dr Andrew Manches, has been awarded the Tam Dalyell prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science.  

The Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science is an annual prize to recognise and reward the University of Edinburgh’s outstanding science communicators in improving our society’s understanding of science and communicating the work of the University to those not within the scientific community.