Monday, April 08, 2013

Homemade Craft Foam Numbers (or Letters)

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It's easy to make your own craft foam letters and numbers for the bath with this tutorial. Here's how to make large craft foam numbers (or letters!).

When my oldest son was about two, I made him this set of large foam numbers (two of each digit). 


Well, he would often spend hours playing with the numbers from our foam play mat, as one does when you have hypernumeracy. But the mat only has one set of numbers from 0-9. 

When he was playing with the numbers from the foam mat, I noticed that he would count up in order, but skip over numbers like 11 or 22 because he only had one of each number. So I decided to make him a new set of numbers so that he could happily count to larger numbers without having to skip over the double digit numbers.

The result was his most favorite toy for years to come: these giant craft foam numbers.

How to make large foam letters (or letters) for kids out of craft foam

Homemade Craft Foam Numbers & Letters: What You'll Need to Make Your Own

To make your own set of giant foam numbers, you'll need:

  • Sheets of craft foam
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Templates (optional): could be something you print off or a foam play mat that has numbers that pop out

Large foam numbers for crafts, play, or for the bath

How to Make these Large Foam Letters or Numbers

I used the numbers from our foam play mat as a template, tracing their shape onto the craft foam with a pencil. If you don't have a foam play mat, you can freehand draw the numbers or find a font you like on the computer and print off some number templates to trace.

Then I simply cut the numbers out with scissors. That's it.

DIY Craft Foam Numbers for Kids

Like I mentioned above, we have had these homemade numbers in rotation for two years now. You will see that a few numbers have been repaired with tape over the years, but other than that, they are in great shape.

When playing with these numbers in the past, J would usually just sort and organize them to make different number combinations or he would count by ones starting at zero - hello, hypernumeracy! He would usually just play with them on the floor like so...

DIY craft for numbers - or you could make letters

J, however, hasn't played with these numbers for a few months now as they have been buried at the bottom of our busy bag box. So I decided to pull them out the other day, presenting them in a new way (K was napping at this point). I pulled out the couch in our living room so that J could access the large window in our living room. I then placed the numbers in a tray of water so that he could play with them on the window. In case you didn't know, craft foam sticks when wet! That means you can totally make your own set of foam letters and numbers for the bath, if you'd like.

Here he is dipping the numbers into a shallow container of water...

Playing with homemade craft foam numbers in water

And sticking them to the window.

Large homemade foam numbers stick to windows when wet

Large DIY craft foam numbers stick to windows when wet

This boy loves his numbers! And these homemade craft foam numbers have been so well loved over the years. Easily one of the best things I ever made him.