This week the Playful Preschool Education Team is offering activity suggestions centered around a ROPE THEME for preschoolers!  We hope you’ll take a moment to visit the other playful learning activities linked for your convenience at the bottom of this post!

Outdoor Number Order Sorting for Preschool


Objective:  to incorporate playful early math skills into an outdoor gross motor game for preschoolers.

Materials needed:

  • Rope or string – enough to tie between two objects outdoors (a tree, lawn chairs, or outdoor play equipment).
  • Clothespins
  • Cards (or paper) labeled with the numbers 1-10.

Invite the kids to help string a rope between two objects outside (if inclement weather, the game can also be played indoors).  Show the children how to knot the rope so it will remain tied.   Randomly sort all of the numbered cards and lay them out, face down, on the ground.  An adult should give a signal to “GO” to begin the game.  Each of the children must then turn over the numbers, work to sort the cards into number order on the ground, and then clip the cards into correct number order on the rope with the clothespins.

Outdoor Number Line Game for Preschool

For very young children, make a visual number line 1-10 that the kids can use when sorting and clipping the numbered cards.

Sorting Numbers on an Outdoor Number Line

Use larger numbers for older children who are confident with the numbers 1-10.

There are MANY variations of this rope game, we’ve listed a few to try below:

  • Use cards labeled with LETTERS that spell the the child’s name or the names of family members.

Matching Uppercase to Lowercase letters on an Alphabet Line

  • Invite the children to match and clip uppercase letters with the lowercase letter.
  • Make an Alphabet sorting and clipping line – for younger children, begin with only a few letters at a time until they are confident with correct ABC order.  Invite older children to clip ABC order with a larger number of labeled cards.
  • Clip two numbered cards on the rope for older children and see if the children can ADD the two cards together.  The children must then locate a labeled number card that represents the SUM of the two numbers and clip that card to the rope.

Our kids played the number order game at a local splash park.  You know the game is a keeper when other children at the park come and ask to play!  Older kids joined in helping our younger kids make larger number lines.  It was a great day of play and learning!

For MORE ways to play and learn with ROPES, please visit the wonderful activities below!

Learning Letters with a Rope Pulley by Mom Inspired Life
Alphabet Activities: Grab and Pull Letters by Growing Book by Book
Rope Balance Game for Kids by Capri + 3
Jumping Rope and Skip Counting to the Beat by Tiny Tots Adventures
Preschool Number Games: Rope and Shell Connect-the-Dots by Fun-A-Day
Craft Rope Ornaments for Kids by The Educators’ Spin On It

Disclosures: This post and others within this blog contain affiliate, distributor, and/or sponsored links and content.

Want to know how to introduce your own kids to the ABC’s and 123’s through playful learning?  See here for 40+ ways to incorporate learning into everyday experiences for preschoolers!


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