Client: CBeebies


Our latest project for CBeebies helps pre-schoolers take early steps with their numeracy learning with these seriously cute counting creatures.

Numtums is a multiplatform 25×5 minute series developed in-house by the BBC, featuring cuddly Australian native Numbats each with a number on their tummy. It is being broadcast as part of a raft of new learning shows, kicking off the spring season on CBeebies and the channel’s 10th birthday.

Plug-in was involved with Numtums from its inception – working closely with the in-house production team at CBeebies to develop an interactive strategy for the brand, prior to commission. We then pitched competitively to win the contract to produce the vision for the website, with its innovative suite of interactive ‘toys’.

For a product that focuses on the younger end of the CBeebies demographic, it was essential to deliver big rewards for the shortest of engagements – so the 25 different activities developed for the online experience are more ‘interactive toys’ than full-blown games. Children can enjoy as many or as few of these playful experiences as they like, which are served in rapid succession, each focused on the same number between 1 and 10. Alternatively they can go back and play their favourite ‘toy’ again and again, focused on a different number each time. A few examples of what you can play with include: robots that you have to drop into place, hats to try on, sweets to juggle, drums to bang, footballs to shoot, and our motion detection technology gets a look-in as you wipe glitter from the screen and tickle the Numtums under their chins.

A further innovation is the way in which the project was designed around a dual audience. Whilst the older children will probably want to play Numtums on their own, grown-up and child alike will enjoy plenty of the activities together. Each of the toys can be played as 2-player experience with the adult or older sibling setting up the activities and the child completing them. They can then extend their number play into the real world as the website also gives practical suggestions of how to play with numbers in everyday life.

The project provided us with a couple of opportunities to work directly with our audience: firstly by recording voiceover with Ellis, a very talented 6 year old who voiced our game instructions: the first time we’ve had a child narrate one of our projects; and secondly via the user testing we did in nurseries and at home – seeing children’s faces light up interacting with the insatiable Numtums was priceless!

You can catch this brand new series on CBeebies every week day at 9am and, of course, play the interactive extravaganza here!


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