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Playdough Smash: Number Recognition Game

Over the last couple of weeks my daughter has suddenly become really interested in learning numbers, both counting and recognising the numbers written down. It’s made the school and nursery run a bit more interesting because she likes to yell out any numbers she recognises on the back of busses when we’re stuck in traffic! This number recognition game is super simple but there’s a couple of ways I’ll suggest to change it up too so that you could use it with older kids or use it for learning to count.

playdough smash

You will need:




Playdough Smash Number Recognition Game

Ok, so this is obviously a pretty simple one but it’s still good fun! We rolled the playdough into thin sausage shapes and then I made some numbers out of them. I didn’t do too many numbers at a time as my daughter is still learning to recognise numbers and I didn’t want it to be overwhelming for her. Once the playdough numbers were set out on a table I then told her a number and she had to choose the right one to smash – I tend to find my kids enjoy educational activities a lot more if they’re given the opportunity to be a bit destructive!

number recognition game with playdough

Keen readers may notice at this point that yes, I am still living in a building site. Fun times. Anyway! My daughter enjoyed trying to make the numbers as well, feeling what the shapes should look like.

There are a couple of easy ways that you could adapt this activity – my daughter then put the playdough into little balls and wanted to count how many were in a row before smashing them all or to adapt this for older kids you could put the playdough numbers out and ask your child a sum with them having to smash the answer. More fun than doing worksheets anyway!

You may also like:

More number recognition activities for preschoolers

Number stamping activity

Butterfly number stones



  1. 7th March 2017 / 11:23 pm

    That’s such a sweet idea. Simple, but effective! Hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel with the building! 😀

  2. 8th March 2017 / 10:23 am

    I think using playdough is a great way of developing number (and letter) recognition. It also builds hand strength.

  3. 9th March 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Will have to play this at pre-school, it looks fun

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