ABC, It’s as Easy as 123, as Simple as Do Re Mi

I hope you read that Jackson 5 style. Well not read, more like sung it. Classic song, introducing a classic toy. More Play-Doh!

Actually this Play-Doh activity has a more educational feel to it. I have done this with my eldest, and now my four year old daughter; but actually my seven year old likes to play with with his sister taking my role. Almost playing teacher. I don’t home educate, these small games are as much learning as they get with me.

I have two sets of new letter and number cutter shapes. They aren’t specifically for Play-Doh, you could use them for any craft or biscuit baking. 


There isn’t anything difficult or inspired here lol. We cut out letters, she names them (if she can!). To make it a little more challenging, I make words. Only simple words, two or three letters and more importantly her name. I’m making sure she can recognise her name easily, but also her surname, because we never use it day to day with her. It gives a chance to do some phonics, which I hope with her learning to read in school. To be honest though, she prefers scrunching them up over guessing them or their sounds!

The numbers take it up a level. She recognises more numbers than letters and she prefers counting to letter work. You don’t need to be Einstein to work out that we cut out the numbers and she tells me what they are. There are a couple of games we play.

  • Put the numbers in the right order. She cuts out numbers 1-9, I mix them up, she puts them back in the right order, or what she thinks is the right order.
  • Find and make. For example, find the number two cutter and make three number twos. The making and cutting makes this fun, and it includes her favourite activity, counting. You can tailor this to their ability and concentration span.
  • Easy sums, if you’re feeling really brave, use the maths symbols to make some can you guess the answer sums. This is purely for destroying a lot of numbers. She can’t do the sums. My seven year old likes this game and he can do the sums.

Don’t forget Play-Doh is an excellent tool for strengthening little fingers, preparing their fingers for pencil control and all that writing and painting in school and nursery.

Most importantly, have fun! Learning is fun and for such a short time we appear like we know everything just because we know our letters and numbers. It doesn’t last. Just ask my eldest!

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