12 fun engaging ways to learn colours, numbers and letters!
Get your child learning without them realising that they are learning! No apps or tablets or TV’s. Here are our top 12 engaging ways to helping children to learn colours, numbers and letters with art, craft and games. You’ll need a good supply of cardboard, old birthday cards, coloured card, paper, some paint, an egg box or two some wooden lolly sticks and a few things to stick on, some colourful buttons, wool or material from the sewing box.
Colours. Toddlers love bright colours and you can start teaching your child about colours from the age of 2. If you start with the main colours first red, yellow, green and blue.
Hand and Finger painting. Touching paint enhances toddler’s sensory skills and creativity so using paint on hands and fingers is a great way to start learning the colours. With the bright paint on their hands they will be interested and attentive to learning.
Collecting objects/identifying colours. Ask your child to find all the objects of a certain colour in a room like red and then to draw them, and put the objects all together. This helps them identify them as being all the same. You could also do this outside and see if they can find anything pink, green grass, green leaves etc.
Colour sorting! Try colour sorting, so cut up some coloured card into different shapes circles, rectangles, triangles. Then get some clean yogurt pots with the colours stuck on or an old egg box with the colour on and ask them to put all the yellow circles into the yellow pot and so on. You can also do this with building bricks sorting the different colours.
Wooden lolly sticks are also really useful you can dip them in paint and then get your toddler to point at things that are certain colours and colour match.
Learning Numbers! Nursery rhymes and books are great for this, it’s the repetition of rhyme and story that help them learn. But you can also help your child be able to recognize numbers and to count with these simple craft activities, start in baby steps with 1,2,3 and build from there.
Cut out some big numbers 1,2,3 and get them to decorate with tissue paper or paint or colouring, wool anything, then they can hang them up in their room.
Number matching! Draw a 3×3 square grid and write the numbers 1-9 in the squares. Then get some buttons, or round coloured spotty stickers or some little bits of cut up card. Then get them to put three buttons on number 3, one button on number 1 etc.
Make some counting sticks! Get those lolly sticks (again!) and put the number at the top and then get them to decorate them with spots or stripes or sequins, bits of wool, to match the number on the stick!
Create a treasure hunt number game. Get an egg box and number the holes from 1-6. Cut some bright card into shapes and then write the numbers 1-6 on the card do a few of each number. Hang the numbers around the house at eye level where your child can see them. Get your child to go around the house looking for the numbers and then match them in the right hole in the egg box. You can also do this with colours and letters too.
Bingo is one of the best games for learning numbers and really simple to make, you can start small with the numbers of 1-9. Make a grid up and write some random numbers in the grid between 1 and 9. Then make some coloured cardboard discs or use milk bottle tops numbered 1-9 and put them in a cup or bag. Take the number out of the bag and get them to look at their grid and to see if their number has come out. Then they mark on their grid when their number has come out. Encourage them to call the numbers too.
As they learn more numbers you can add in larger numbers 10-20 etc.
When they get all of the numbers matched on their card they can call Bingo!
Learning letters and the alphabet. Singing and reading the alphabet are great ways to learn it. But visualizing through play and craft is great too!
Bottle top alphabet. Plastic milk bottle tops can have a new life! Once you have 26 you can write the letters of the alphabet on them and then write the alphabet out on a large piece of paper. Get your child to match the milk bottle top with the alphabet on the paper. You can also try alphabet bingo like above!
Post it names is a great activity for helping them see the letters in their name. Write their name out, one letter per piece of paper as large as possible (A4 size). Then get several post it notes and write out each individual letter of their name several times and get them to stick and match the post it note to the letter in their name. You can do this with any word it doesn’t have to be their name.
Create a letter wheel, with a big letter in the middle and then 8 things beginning with that letter around the edges of the circle, so Pp in the middle then pizza, penguin, pumpkin etc. around the edge. You don’t have to be good at drawing cut the pictures out of magazines and let them help you make it. You can do one for each letter of the alphabet.
Make your own flash cards. Take a piece of cardboard about the size of a birthday card, then write the letter at the top and an object that corresponds with it underneath. So big letter B, then a bird underneath. You can do this for numbers as well.
For older children!
Spaghetti structures. For the older budding engineers a packet of spaghetti and a packet of marshmallows is a great way to make some structures. Bridges, towers, see how strong and high they can build by sticking the end of the spaghetti into a marshmallow and joining them up.
Scavenger hunt, a scavenger hunt with a list of objects to find in the garden or park is a great way of getting them out into nature, so a list of 10 items eg. An item beginning with A, something that shouldn’t be there, a snail shell, an evergreen leaf, a round stone.
Cardboard boats. Get some cardboard and see if they can make a boat that floats, they will have to think about the design and how to make it waterproof!
Decorating pebbles and making patterns. Thinking about symmetry. Those pebbles that you bring home from holiday that are sitting in a jar. Decorate with acrylic pens, sharpies or paint.