# Hammer, Ice, and Bolts – Alternative Games to Learn Alphabet and Numbers

Bolts, ice, and a hammer are only a few examples of objects that can help children learn the alphabet and numbers.

Below we are presenting 5 exercises you can do with your child to practice learning letters and numbers. Here you will find something for both calm children and little mischief-makers.

### Idea no. 1

• a bowl (preferably a shallow one, as it will help to arrange the blocks in whatever order you want and at least some of them will stay afloat)
• some domino blocks (or other objects you can mark numbers or letters on)
• water
• a hammer
• a freezer

Crushing ice and picking domino blocks that were frozen inside can be great fun for both the child and the adult:

• ask the child to read aloud the number of dots each time they pick up a domino block
• encourage your child to form words with the letters they picked (if you’ve frozen letters instead of numbers)
• organise a competition to check who gets more domino dots (you will need a bigger bowl and more domino blocks for this task)
• Hit the ice with the hammer. Count how many hits you need to break the ice and release a domino block.

### Idea no. 2 – ABC or 123 Bolts

• 2-3 bolts 60-100 mm long
• nuts for bolts
• black marker

We know that for many parents drawing an apple and saying that it is for ‘A’ or throwing colourful yarn into bowls is even more tiresome than learning letters is for the children. So here is an engineering challenge that will also be interesting for you. We suggest that you:

• mark 3 subsequent letters or numbers on a nut with the marker – while screwing the nut on the bolt A-B-C or 4-5-6 will come in sequence and so the child will additionally be able to learn the correct order of the symbols;
• set time limits while you play – Will the parent or the child be the first to find the required letter / number and form a word that’s been written down or a big number with more than one digit?

### Idea no. 3 – Trampoline

• trampoline
• chalk
• good weather*

We’re not going to have many more days to have fun on the trampoline this autumn. So why don’t we use this opportunity to search for numbers and letters and win some tasty points in return? 🙂

### Idea no. 4 – Towers of Blocks

• at least 12 blocks, equal in size
• A3 paper sheet
• marker

Arrange the blocks from the largest to the smallest, from the smallest to the largest, or by colour; put them next to each other for comparison, or next to numbers to illustrate how big they are. The more blocks, the more possibilities.

### Idea no. 5 – Writing in Salt

• salt
• deep container
• sheets of paper and pen (to write down numbers or letters)

This is such great fun for the youngest children! Writing with your finger is much easier than using a pen. The kids we’ve performed this task with loved the fact that running their fingers through salt creates grooves and uncovers the bowl’s bottom.

* You can choose a container with a colourful bottom. However, children tend to get distracted with colours and become more occupied with discovering colours / shapes than learning letters as such.