Tuff Spot Number Painting

Tuff Spot Number Painting

It has been a lovely Bank Holiday weekend and we have been making use of the good weather to spend some time outside and get some jobs done.

Damian was outside cutting the grass and the children, inevitably, wanted to be outside with him too. However it isn’t the easiest thing to cut the grass with the children there so I set up a very quick activity for them on the tuff spot – tuff spot number painting.

tuff spot number painting has so many different ways to extend early maths and number knowledge - great fun for pre schoolers

Our tuff spot has been outside for a week or so now, after Damian and the children used it to plant some flowers on. It needed a good clean so I thought I’d get the children to do some water painting on it with the added benefit that they’d do a bit of the clean up of it in the process. I then spotted some chalk and decided that we’d set up a quick number game.

Using ordinary chalk I chalked the numbers one to ten around the tuff spot. I then gave the children our fab pack of traditional tea party biscuits.

Tea Party Biscuits

These are wooden biscuits that are available from the Imperial War Museum that are numbered on the back. They come in a lovely wooden storage box and as well as being great for imaginary play and tea parties with their bears the added numbers on the back make them perfect for early counting and maths activities and they’ve been put to good use in recent weeks.

tuff spot number painting

I asked Mr D to match the biscuits up to the numbers on the tuff spot. He did this quite quickly and it was interesting to see that he had already remembered what numbers were on the back of some of the biscuits (which gave me an idea for a future memory game). Once he matched them all up I gave both the children a paint brush and some water and they set about brushing the numbers away.

tuff spot number painting

I encouraged them to follow the shape of the number, which they did initially, but then a bit of competitiveness crept in and they just rubbed the numbers out. However they enjoyed doing this and spent a good while drawing out more numbers, letters and shapes themselves to them wipe away.

tuff spot number painting

This was a really quick activity to set up and it is one we will do again using the tea party biscuits. It was a very quick off the cuff activity and with a little thought and planning there is a lot more you could do with this. I’ve suggested a few ideas below that I’ll be looking at with the children over the coming weeks.

  • Ordering the numbers from 1 – 10 and painting out in order
  • Ordering the numbers backwards from 10 -1 and painting out in reverse
  • Using dice throw them and add the numbers together to paint a number out (would need to write numbers 1 – 12)
  • Simple maths sums such as 2+2 (paint out number 4)
  • Hide the tea party biscuits and as they find them they corresponding tuff spot number is painted out.




  1. Sara Handy Herbs
    4th June 2016 / 11:28

    Love the biscuits and what a fun way to do some number practice. Great ideas too 🙂 #LetsLearn

    • 4th June 2016 / 12:16

      they are fab the biscuits and so many uses! thanks for popping by xx

  2. 26th July 2016 / 16:19

    Lovely activity using the tuff spot. They’re so versatile aren’t they! You provided lots of variation on the original game which I really liked. We’ve done similar things with random objects and asked our toddler to group the objects in as many ways as possible: colour, shape, texture, use etc. He loves it.
    Potty Adventures

  3. 25th August 2016 / 08:58

    What a brilliant, simple activity – I never thought to put the chalks in the tuff spot (much easier than cleaning the pavement every time we get them out)! I love the wooden biscuit set too! #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

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