Number and Alphabet Grid Challenge

Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997), 312


This activity offers not only an enjoyable family activity, but also hours of self-directed and small-group problem-solving play for children. It involves using different body parts and basic motor skills. It will help children recognize numbers and do simple arithmetic problems and also recognize letters and spelling words, including family names.

Preparation

Mark a number or alphabet grid on some hard surface (driveway, floor, or sidewalk). Use paint or chalk, masking tape, white shoe polish, or other substances depending on how long you want the grid to last.

Number Grid
6 feet (183 cm)12-inch (30.5-cm) squares

4

0

2

1

3

9

7

5

3

6

4

2

9

6

0

7

5

3

2

4

2

6

1

7

1

8

5

0

8

3

6

2

4

9

7

1

Letter or Alphabet Grid
7 feet (214 cm)12-inch (30.5-cm) squares

Y

T

P

L

F

G

W

S

D

A

X

K

U

C

O

N

E

B

R

J

V

Z

U

M

T

P

I

M

H

W

I

L

Q

E

H

K

O

R

C

A

B

D

J

S

G

S

P

N

F

Activity

Pose different problems and challenges to family members to solve. Use the following or make up your own:

  1. 1.

    Number grid.

    • Step on each number in order from one to nine.

    • Hop on each number in order from one to nine.

    • Jump on each number in order from nine to one.

    • Jump backwards on ten different even numbers.

    • Hop on each number in order from one to nine, twisting your body one-quarter turn in the air each time.

    • Jump on ten different odd numbers, twisting your body one-half turn in the air each time.

    • Jump on five different even numbers, twisting your body one full turn in the air each time.

    • Solve simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems by stepping, hopping, or jumping on the numbers that equal the answer. For example, 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 = 8.

  2. 2.

    Letter grid.

    • Step on the letters of your first name in order.

    • Hop on the letters of your last name in order.

    • Jump on the letters of the alphabet that are vowels.

    • Jump on the letters of ten consonants.

    • Spell simple words by placing a different body part on each letter of the word being spelled.

    • Correctly spell the name of your father and mother by hopping on the letters in correct order.

    • Hop or jump on the letters of simple words while doing one-quarter, one-half, or full twists in the air between each letter.

Additional Activities

  1. 1.

    Using both grids, hop on the numbers and letters in your home address, both street numbers and name; your grandmother’s address; your dad’s work address.

    • Jump on the numbers and letters in today’s date, month, and year.

    • Put a different body part on each number of the emergency telephone number for your community.

  2. 2.

    Assign family members to create unusual challenges and solutions using both the number and letter grid.

  3. 3.

    Encourage family members to create different games using the number or letter grid.