Skip to content
Lessons and materials

Literacy and Numeracy Ideas with Buckets!

Activity for beginning literacy and numeracy, using buckets to count, identify letters and sounds.

Here are some fun ideas to support literacy and numeracy using the buckets.  These related activities use buckets and objects to tell simple stories, while reinforcing the number “2”.  The activities work on skills such as number, letter, and word recognition, counting, sequencing, and object identification.

Materials

  • buckets
  • word and letter cards with print and braille
  • objects representing different letters of the alphabet
  • story about “two”

Put a large print letter and Braille letter on each of 8 buckets B-U-C-K-E-T.

Literacy Ideas

1.  Start by reading a simple story about two children going to the beach. This is to support the concept of ‘twoness’ two buckets are featured in the story. See photographs of book below.

The Book of 2: 2 children went to the beach

2 children went to the beach
2 children went to the beach.
They took 2 buckets
They took 2 buckets.
They took 2 spades
They took 2 spades.
They made 2 sandcastles
They made 2 sandcastles.
They put on 2 flags
They put on 2 flags.
They put on 2 shells
They put on 2 shells.
The sea came in and washed them away.
The sea came in and washed them away.
Then the 2 children made 2 more sandcastles.
Then the 2 children made 2 more sandcastles.

2.  Child to collect items beginning with each letter of the word and place in appropriate bucket. Match the written word on the tickets to the real object and place in the bucket. Use initial letter sounds if word cannot be fully interpreted at this stage.

Buckets with objects for each letter
Buckets with objects for each letter

3.  Child to arrange the buckets to spell the word BUCKET.

4.  Write a poem with the child or with the class using the letters of BUCKET to make each line of the poem.  Cut up the lines of the poem and place in each bucket. Children to stand in a line holding the buckets to spell the word BUCKET. Children to say the poem, each to take turns and read and say their line of the poem.  (see example of poem)

5.  Present the child with a set of objects on their tray all of which begin with the letters of BUCKET and ask them to place into the appropriate bucket.

6.  Give the child the letters of BUCKET on individual cards (print and braille) and ask them to place the correct letter into the appropriate bucket

Numeracy Ideas

Add large print/braille numbers 1– 10 to the outside of the buckets.

Counting buckets
Counting buckets
  1. Order the buckets to make a number line.
  2. Count one item into bucket 1, two items into bucket 2 etc. This could be associated with the letters, count one item beginning with B, count two items beginning with U etc.:    1 brush, 2 utensils, 3 cups, 4 keys, 5 engines, 6 tapes (different types of tape, which helps the concept of types of tape and their qualities for sticking to different surfaces, the ‘tapeness of tape.’)
  3. Count out and add together objects from buckets 1 and 2 = ? Count out and add objects from buckets 1 and 3 = ?
  4. Use two buckets and two spades and make two sandcastles and add two flags and two shells to two sandcastles (as in the book, see later tips)
  5. Fill one bucket with water and one bucket with sand, which is heaviest?  Fill more buckets with different amounts of sand, water, order them from heaviest to lightest
  6. Find some different sized buckets and fill with water and sand and compare weights which is heaviest?
  7. Cut a hole in the bottom of an old bucket, fill with sand or water and find out what happens!

10 plastic buckets sitting on the wall

10 buckets sitting on a wall
10 buckets sitting on a wall

Make up a song about 10 plastic buckets sitting on a wall.

Act out the song with the child, find a low wall outside to place the buckets on.

10 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell off the wall, there were….
9 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
8 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
7 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
6 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
5 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
4 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
3 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were ……
2 plastic buckets sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there was……
1 plastic bucket sitting on a wall, when 1 plastic bucket fell of the wall there were…… No plastic buckets they were all GONE!!

Reverse the song.

0 plastic buckets sitting on the wall when 1 plastic bucket jumped back on the wall
1 plastic bucket sitting on the wall when 1 plastic bucket jumped back on the wall, there were 2 plastic buckets……..etc  

The Bucket Poem

B is for Buckets of sand and lots of fun!
U is for Umbrella to shade us from the sun
C is for Candy Floss, yum, yum!
K is for Kite flying high to the sun
E is for Egg hardboiled, to eat for my lunch, yum yum!
T is for Time to go home, we had such fun!

Bucket poem with objects for each letter

Above:  Bucket poem with each line of the poem written in print and braille on individual tickets to add to each bucket. Also tickets to match written word to object, initial letter sounds or whole word matching. Children to stand in a line and read out each line of the poem.  

Further Tips for the Book of 2. 2 Children went to the beach

Aim: To develop the concept of ‘twoness’

  1. Using the sand pit, support two children to find two buckets and spades.
  2. Support the two children to fill the two buckets and make two sandcastles.
  3. Support the two children to decorate them with two flags and two shells.
  4. Allow the two children to build and decorate again providing lots of pairs of objects to choose from.
  5. Look at the book and explain the representations. Offer tactile exploration of the real objects and explain the 2-D representations in the book.
  6. Talk about the things they did that were mentioned in the book.
  7. Extension: 2 animals/fish that live near the seaside, two coins for two ice creams, 2 blobs of ice cream on two cones.
  8. Pack a bag for the beach with two towels, two hats, two pairs of sunglasses, etc.

Download PDF of activities.

literacy and numeracy ideas collage

For more ideas, see https://www.positiveeye.co.uk/


SHARE THIS ARTICLE
The Love Bugs cover with the title and textured hearts.
Blog

Love Bugs Book

Red glitter liquid in a bottle
Blog

Sensory Shake-Up

Tactile craft with a kite and puffy clouds in the sky
Blog

Fly High Little Kite