The fun way to give YOUR child a head start in maths

Alana’s Animals is an enchanting family game that teaches children the key maths skills needed in schools. Recommended by National Numeracy
For 2 to 4 players  |  10 mins  |  Age 3 to 14

What does it teach?

Alana’s Animals has been designed to teach fundamental early years maths skills in a way that is exciting and engaging. Players gain a variety of maths knowledge from playing, including…

Number recognition

Counting the animals as the farmyard grows helps children become more confident in maths. For very young children, it’s about encouraging number recognition, counting, and player interaction.


Rational counting

Collecting different animals helps with rational counting, teaching the ability to assign the correct number to a group of items, and which number corresponds to the total amount.


Subitising is becoming an increasingly important maths skill. It refers to the ability to be able to recognise the number of objects without having to individually count each one.

Quantities & magnitude

Helping children with an understanding of quantities and recognising the magnitude of a number. It helps children grasp concepts such as lowest number and number ordering.


“This is a fun game, perfect for young kids, but with a true depth of play that will appeal to even the most tactical game player. The stealth math and vocabulary content don’t get in the way of the gaming elements. Don’t let the cute artwork fool you – this is well worth putting on the table.

Mike Hargreaves


“Usually the thought of playing a maths game with the kids fills me with dread, either because it is too complicated or takes far too long to play, but I actually enjoyed this game. There are a few ways to play, and it teaches children without being boring. The cards all have colourful and fun pictures of animals and some have things hidden on them as a little bonus game.”

Louise Goodenough


What a find! Finally, an early years maths game that is great fun, exciting, and educational. I bought Alana’s Animals whilst searching high and low to satisfy my grandson’s appetite for endless game playing and was delighted when it was such a success.

Julie Rodgers

Young girl playing Alana's Animals
Two cards with white chickens!
Children in class playing Alana's Animals

How does it work?

Collect, count, and compare animals, build your farm, and earn the most apples to win. Alana's Animals is perfect for all ages and includes 3 games of increasing skill and complexity.

Collect Animals

Start by collecting animals to build your farmyard using any combination of animal cards you'd like.

Earn apples

When you've built your farm it's time to score the Reward Cards and see how many apples you can win.

Count your Reward Cards

Once all the Reward cards have been scored, the player who's farmyard has the most apples is the winner! 

Alana's animals box and game types

An Exciting Early Years Maths Game

Alana’s Animals is an early years maths game that’s a brilliant and fun way to improve maths through play.

It’s a powerful learning tool hidden within an engaging and addictive card game.

Alana’s Animals helps pre-school children develop their numeracy and problem-solving skills easily and effortlessly while playing.

It’s perfect for homes, nurseries, and schools.

National Numeracy Badge and Logo

Maths Vocabulary

Reward cards use a range of maths language including: most, least, biggest, smallest, fewest, more than, less than, and fewer.

Maths Vocabulary

Reward cards use a range of maths language including: most, least, biggest, smallest, fewest, more than, less than, and fewer.

How to play Alana’s Animals

Players take it in turns to collect Animal cards and build their farmyard.
Whose farmyard will win the most Rewards? Winning Reward cards earns apples, and the player with the most apples at the end wins the game!

Animal cards

Reward cards

Alana’s Animals Includes 3 games of increasing skill and complexity.

Game 1 – Hide and Seek

Age 3+ | 2 – 4 Players

Alana's animals set up on the table!

A simple and straightforward game that’s a great introduction for young children. Start the game with the animal cards laid out face down as shown in the photo. Players take turns to choose a card, turn it over, and add it to their farmyard.

Players can discuss the animals they have found and talk about the different types of animals in their farmyard, colours, spots, quantity, and so on. You can even make animal noises! Designed to develop speed and confidence with basic numeracy.

Option: Add 4 Reward cards (as shown in the photo). Score these once all the Animal cards have been collected by players.

Game 2 – Farmyard Rewards

Age 4+ | 2 – 4 Players

Alana's animals second game type on the table
All the animal cards are laid out face up, then a number of rewards cards are laid out at random for all players to see. The players pick the animal cards they want to add to their farm, and choose specific animals to score reward cards.

The player with the most apples at the end of the game is the winner!

This variation helps to teach basic numeracy and confidence, as well as critical thinking as they match up their animals to the rewards shown.

Option: Turn over an extra Reward card every round.

Game 3 – Every Animal Counts

Age 5+ | 3 – 4 Players

The third game of Alana's animals, "Every animal counts!"
Each player gets a hand of 6 animal cards. All players choose one animal card to play at the same time. This is placed face-down in front of them, and then they pass their cards to player to their left.

Play continues until all animal cards have been played.

Players then reveal their farmyards, score the face-up Reward cards, and then the remaining 6 face-down ones.

This game is ideal as it slowly introduces more complexity to the game as children become more confident with numeracy.

Option: Each player takes a Reward card that only they see and score if that player meets its requirements.

Game 4 – Animal Auction – Rules Coming soon

Cooperative | Age 4+ | 1 – 6 Players

Game 5 – Reward Race – Rules Coming soon

Cooperative | Age 5+ | 3 – 4 Players

About Alana’s Animals

Alana’s Animals is an early years maths game designed and developed by award-winning games designer, Matthew Tidbury, creator of ThinkNoodle Games and Darrell Ottery from Eclectic Games.
Children having fun while playing Alana's animals
Alana's animals' designer, Matt Tidbury, showing how to play the game

Alana’s Animals is not only a game, it’s a powerful maths resource that supports the National Curriculum and can be used in many ways to help improve numeracy in younger or less confident children.

“We were inspired to create Alana’s Animals after a meeting with an LEA (Local Education Authority) in the UK. They were finding that a growing number of children were starting school with a lack of basic maths skills. While they could recite numbers in order, they had no concept of what those numbers actually meant in terms of quantity or magnitude.”

Playing Alana’s Animals helps children develop an understanding of quantities and number magnitude, number recognition, rational counting and subitising. Text on the cards also uses a range of maths vocabulary used throughout maths education, while also teaching children the concept of zero. The game also works with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum and beyond.

During the many months of development and playtesting, many people helped to refine and improve the game including National Numeracy, Cambridge Mathematics, NRICH, nursery teachers, EYFS teachers, and maths tutor as well as gamers, and of course, children too!

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ThinkNoodle Games is an independent games publisher founded by award-winning designer, Matthew Tidbury.
ThinkNoodle focuses on creating powerful educational tools hidden within exciting and engaging games.

ThinkNoodle Games is always busy developing a range of educational games with the help of parents, teachers, educational organisations and authorities.

If you’d like to find out more about our games, philosophy, and outreach, head on over to ThinkNoodle Games.


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