Traditional toys

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By Sally Grayearly years teacher and writer

From skittles and hoops to castles and knights, old-fashioned toys are perfect for developing a variety of skills


1 Super skittles

Play a fun game of skittles to develop counting skills

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

Numbers as Labels and for Counting

Development matters: sometimes match number and quantity correctly (30-50 months); count an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: count reliably up to ten everyday objects.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Set of different-coloured skittles and a ball; safe, open space.

What to do

Invite the children to play a game of skittles. Start by counting the number of skittles as you line them up ready to knock down. Count the total number of skittles, and then the number of each different colour.

Let the children take turns to roll the ball to knock down the skittles. Encourage each child to count the number of skittles that they have knocked down. Then, ask questions such as, ‘How many red ones have you knocked down?’, ‘How many blue ones?’ and so on.

Next, invite the children to take turns to roll the ball two or three times, then compare the numbers of skittles that they have knocked down using language such as ‘more’ and ‘less’.


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