Learning Ideas: Homemade Ways to Teach Your Kids Their ABCs & 123s

Now I’m no expert on teaching my kids things unless you count throwing a whole loo roll down the toilet multiple times a day or saying “gross” when they even spy anything green in their food, and between my 5 to 9ner every evening, i’ve surprised even myself, on how much i’ve managed to teach them, inadvertently sometimes. 

My kids aren’t masterminds by any means, but with school fast approaching for The Eldest, I’ve stepped up and channeled my inner lioness.

Both girls can now recognise the alphabet, know their phonics and recognise one to twenty when written down. Pretty good huh? Shame they can’t remember how their bloody Glo Clock works in the night though. Swings and roundabouts.

So now we’ve established that my kids aren’t prodigies, I can confirm though that with a bit of creative play and trickery, you to can teach your kid a few things to impress the Grandparents and their Year R teacher.

Creativity is Key

I may only have twenty months between my little monsters, but they are like chalk and cheese and learn that way too.

One learns on the loo (yep) singing silly songs and using her fingers, while the other likes flash cards and word games.

So How Do You Collide the Two?

No idea, but while on my quest to be the tightest Tiger Mum ever, I asked a few of my blogging buddies for some tips on they teach their children to be little Einsteins. (Disclaimer: None of these may help, but will make you feel like a Pinterest badass.)

Homemade Ways to Teach Your Kids Their ABCs & 123s


I had no idea what phonics even meant before I fell into a school Facebook group, and saw this word bandied around. Probing Eleanor for all she was worth, (it’s handy having a teacher friend), she explained it was the sound of each letter.

After a frantic Google, I found loads of videos but nothing consistent. How the heck are you meant to teach your kids stuff when Google can’t even decide if “F” sounds like fhuh or fth.

See the issue?

So to stop all confusion and save you hours of hair pulling, here’s Eleanor’s basic phonics video to help you out. This is exactly how they will be sounded out at school, so get revising now!

(If you like our video, pop over to our YouTube channel now. Can’t guarantee the rest of our videos will be as useful, but we try.)


This took a while, but Laura from Five Little Doves recommended pasta counting.


I was until she explained that she used it as a basic way to show subtraction, addition, and fractions. Genius!

I’ve also stolen Danielle’s idea (from Someones Mum) who plays the “what can you see?” game, where we talk about all the shapes, colours and numbers we can see while out and about

Car registrations is another brilliant idea. Beth, I commend you!

Hand-Eye Coordination

As most of my school peers will be able to tell you, I couldn’t throw a ball for toffee. Still, can’t. Pick the wrong time of the month and a 20-year-old pan will fly in your direction, possibly.

The girls, lucky for me, are a bit better, and thanks to Alison from Five Little Stars, they’re better at putting tiny objects into even smaller holes. Hence why I now hide my earrings…

She came up with pipe cleaners and a colander, which is inspirational, as it keeps them busy for ages! Score!

Also threading things onto the pipe cleaners works as well. Thanks Hannah for that one, it took ages to figure that one out myself.

Being Hands On

What I’ve learned through this whole process is that my kids are inquisitive little monkeys, and while they love nothing more than drawing all over the walls, at least, I suppose, they are learning skills that they may need in later life.

From using toilet roll inserts as alphabet reminders to ice trays and marbles as counters, however your kids learn, trying to find out HOW they learn, is key.

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