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5 Ways to learn letters and numbers without printed worksheets.

Number matching bingo.

  • You will need paper or cardboard (an empty cereal box will work)
  • A pen
  • A water gun/ spray bottle or an empty washing up liquid bottle works.

Write a mixture of numbers between 1-10 or 1-20 on the paper or card.

Next pin them to an outside wall or lay them on the floor outside.

The adult calls out one of the numbers, the child has to find the correct number and squirt it with the water gun/ spray bottle.

This activity could also be done inside by putting the numbers in the bathtub.


Number/letter writing with water.

  • You will need a bowl of water
  • A big paintbrush
  • Some paper or card with numbers/ letters/ phonics sounds written on them

Give your child a few of the cards with the numbers/ letters on.

Use the paintbrush and water to paint the number/letter. This can be done on the pavement, garden path, patio or fence.


Go on a counting hunt.

  • You will need a pen and paper. Decide on a theme of something you are going to hunt for. It could be so many things here are a few ideas but it is best to get your child to think of something as it will make them more interested in the activity.  


  • Red cars
  • Vans
  • Lorries
  • Wheelie bins
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Flowers
  • Trees


Get your child to count their chosen object whilst you are out on a walk and record how many they find using a tally chart on their piece of paper. You could even keep their findings and choose something different every time you go for a walk and then compare the differences. For example you may see more red cars than blue cars.


Nature letters


  • You will need some paper/ card with big letters written on them. You may choose to just focus on a few letters at a time.
  • Twigs, leaves, stones anything you can collect whilst out on a walk.

Have your child use the nature materials you have collected to make the letters you have drawn on the paper by placing them on top of the letter. You could do this with numbers, tricky words or even their name. It is a creative and fun way of helping them understand the letter shape.


Play I spy

I spy is a great game for helping children find things that start with certain letters. It gets them thinking and you can have some good discussions about the things you see.