Symbols, Shapes, Letters and Numbers Game

We made up an open-ended game that encourages players to draw symbols, shapes, letters and numbers in creative ways. I hope your family enjoys this game too!

Set-up: Draw a variety of symbols, shapes, letters and numbers on index cards.

Play: Put the cards in the middle of the table in a scattered pile and take turns picking cards, saying its name and drawing the symbol/shape/letter/number on a piece of plain copy paper.

Players can draw what they see on the card the way it is, make pictures or scenes out of the symbols and shapes, use the letters to form words or to draw something that begins with that letter. Numbers can be written or players can add that many of something to their picture/scene.

Benefits: This game helps people to learn symbols, shapes, letters, and numbers in a less stressful way, and offers them a reason to write/draw them. It also offers players a chance to be as creative as they want to be. If the player creates a scene, or a picture, then creative thinking skills is an added benefit.

Some of the symbols, shapes, letters and numbers we used: The alphabet: upper and lower case letters, basic numbers 1-9, basic shapes, heart, wavy lines, arrow, straight lines, star, diamond, etc.. 

Tips and Suggestions…

  • We play with about 40 cards but feel free to make as many or as few as you want.
  • Those who know the symbol, shape, letter or number say its name and everyone draws or writes it. If the it is not known, a player that does know can help out.There is no time limit for this game, we played until we agreed that we were done. A time or card limit can be set if needed.
  • Advance to drawing animals, flowers, cars, household items, more difficult shapes and patterns, etc. when players are ready.
  • After writing instructions on an index card, store cards in a zip-top bag.
  • Once the cards have been created, they can be used to make up other fun games.
  • Make up your own rules and instructions and write them down.
  • Players should be as creative as they want to be while playing this open-ended game. If they want to turn a rectangle into book, an octagon into a stop sign, or turn wavy lines into a road, then that should be encouraged. Players can choose to incorporate all the cards into one scene in some creative way. One of my kids created a picture of a Medieval reenactment. The more creative the better! 
This post is part of the Building Writing Skills series on If you are interested in reading more from this series, please use the following links:
Building Writing Skills Naturally – Offers links to activity suggestions that have many built in benefits. 

Building Math Skills Naturally – Offers links to activities that build math skills in exploratory way. (Coming Soon!)

No More Tears! – Introduction page.
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