Swat It! A Hands-On Game To Teach Numbers and Letters

"Swat It" is a high energy identification game that your kids will ask to play again and again.

Learning letters in a fun, hands on game

Who doesn't love permission to hit something every once in a while? Lot's of parents express worry about their child's low interest in learning numbers and letters and a lack of focus. But the problem, isn't really their child's focus. It's that often skills that require memorization, like learning numbers and letters, are taught in boring ways that require small children to concentrate on a non preferred task for too long! When kids don't like it, they often get told they need to focus. But why focus when it's not fun? Hands-on learning involves the child, so instead of just taking in information and repeating it back, they're a part of creating that learning in a FUN way. There is NO way your child won't absolutely love this game.

Grab your Post-Its and a fly swatter. Don't have a fly swatter? Kids can use their hands! Get ready to work on gross motor skills and the identification subject of your choice! I most recently played this game with numbers but you can use for numbers, letters, sight words, shapes, etc. This game is less than a minute to prep and maximum fun.

Swat the Number! A hands-on gross motor skills game

How to Play "Swat it!":

  • On Post-Its, write about 10 numbers or letters your child is currently learning.

  • Place them on a wall or surface so that your child can see them all from one spot

  • Invite your child to play: "Let's see if you can swat the ______! When I call out a number (or letter), you hit it with your swatter!"

  • Call out numbers and letters!

For a math challenge, have your child take the numbers off the wall and line them up in order once the game is over.

For this round of "Swat it!" I wrote the teen numbers Big Sis is working on. Little Sis would NOT be left out, so I added a smattering of letters. With their flyswatters, they hit the numbers and letters that I called out.

Swat it for number and letter identification

Pro tips for "Swat It!" learning:

Be sure to add in some items that your child has already mastered so they won’t get burnt out searching for only ones they don't know. We want them to have success and fun while exposing them to new numbers and letters.

When my eldest was looking for a number she didn't know, I would call out clues initially like what it was next to or if it was higher or lower. This would help her narrow her focus, preventing visual overwhelm and guide her to find it on her own. After playing a few times, she felt more confident and we did a lightning round. Of course, anything involving swatting and racing is sure to be a smash hit.

New ways to Play "Swat it!" for even MORE Learning:

Once children have mastered identifying their numbers or letters, you can extend the game to increase difficulty and build on other skills.

For a numbers "Swat it!" challenge, call out things like "the number greater than 8" or "the number one less than 4." This will build knowledge of more/less and number sense! Additionally, you can include addition and subtraction problems to challenge your little one to the next level! Call out "The sum of 2 and 5," or "10-7!"

To build on early literacy skills beyond letter identification, you can practice beginning sound swatting! "Swat the letter that begins "Elephant," or "Swat the letter than says mmmmmm."

Is your child reading? Play this game with word families or sight words! The possibilities are endless. There are so many ways to differentiate this game, so you can play it over and over again to build on skills. Your child will be delighted to get up and move while swatting away to new skills, without you having to worry about "focus."

Enjoy playing "Swat It!"

Even toddlers can play "Swat it!"

Hi, I'm Ashley!

I'm a teacher Mama on a quest to make learning fun and simple. I want to empower BUSY parents, like you, to teach and connect with their children through play based learning and hands-on activities. 

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 a Pinterest mom.

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