Bottle Lids

There are so many ways in which you can use bottle lids. Keep any that you have and dig deep into your recycling bin and rescue them! It doesn’t matter that type of lid… milk or water bottle, washing up liquid or pouch lids.

Below you will find a list of activities using the lids for maths, phonics and fine motor skills. I have put them in the maths section as they are mostly mats activities! They are so simple and take 5 minutes to set up. I set up one of these activities every evening, for my daughter to do the next day, at the table, before she ate her breakfast.


Colour Sort

You will need: lids and containers of different colours.

  1. Place all of the lids and your colour containers on a baking tray.
  2. Ask your child to sort them into colours.

Maths: Counting Lids

This activity in a great way for your child to practise their counting skills, making sure they use one number name for one lid. You can use any numbers your child is not secure with.

  1. You will need: lids, cups and post-it-notes with numbers written down.
  2. Set it up like the photo above and ask your child to fill the cups with the correct amount of lids.
  1. Can your child check to see if they were right? As them to empty the cup, place the lids in a line and use their counting finger to count them.

Maths: Patterns

This is a fantastic activity for recreating patterns. We started off with creating a pattern with six lids and then moved onto nine.

  1. You will need: lids, and a phone or ipad.
  2. Take photos of the patterns beforehand using your phone or iPad.
  3. Place the device in front of your child and ask them to copy it using the lids.
  4. Repeat with other patterns.

Fine Motor: Raisin Dropping

An activity for the fine motor skills using their pincer grasp which help to prepare them for writing.

  1. You will need: lids and raisins.
  2. Put he raisins in a pile.
  3. Ask your child to pick the raisins up using their thumb and forefinger ONLY.
  4. Place the raisins in the lids.
  5. Eat them!

Phonics: Initial Sound Snap

For this activity, use sounds that your child already knows. They will be listening to the initial (first) sound in all of the words.

  1. You will need: milk bottle lids with the sounds written on them, pictures of animals or objects that they would recognise.
  2. Set up like in the photo above.
  3. Your child is going to say the word out loud, “sun” and listen to the initial (first) sound that they hear. They might need some help from you.
  4. They look for the ‘s’ sound on the milk bottles and ‘snap’ it to the picture of the sun.
  5. Repeat with the other pictures and sounds.

Maths: Number Formation

This activity helps your child with their number formation. Looking at the numbers and forming them in different and fun ways helps!

  1. You will need: lids and numbers written on cards.
  2. Ask them what numbers are written on the cards.
  3. Give your child a container full of the lids and let them choose which ones they would like to place on the numbers.

Fine Motor: Threading

Another fine motor activity which is great for their little fingers.

  1. You will need: pouch lids and a piece of string or wool.
  2. Show them how do thread the lid through the middle of the lid. The hard part for my daughter was pushing the string through far enough so that you could pick it up the other side.

Maths: Number Splat

This activity will help your child with their number recognition and seeing what number comes before and after a number. Being able to count and recognise the numbers is a stepping stone to ordering them.

  1. You will need: lids with numbers 1-20 written on them and a mat or cards to splat the numbers on.
  2. Ask your child to splat the correct number lid with the correct number on the mat.
  3. Once they have finished ask them questions such as, “what number comes before the number 5? Can you point to the number 14? What number comes after the number 7? What is the last number on the mat?”

Maths: Sharing

This activity is an example of early division. The first stage of division is to share things equally as your child is playing. This can be done with toys or food or lids! Your child will share the lids out to the toys EQUALLY, making sure each toy is given the same amount.

  1. You will need: lids, 4 toys and 4 bowls.
  2. Explain to your child that each toy would like to have the same amount of lids so they need to be shared equally.
  3. Show them how to give one to each toy and then repeat.
  4. Put the lids back in the box and let your child have a go!
  5. How many lids do they have each?

Fine Motor: Scooping Lids

This is a fine motor skills activity involving picking up the lids.

  1. You will need: lids, two bowls and a spoon.
  2. Your child is to scoop up a lid with the spoon and place it in the bowl.
  3. Repeat with all of the other lids.
  4. Can they just use the spoon to scoop up the lids?

Maths: Ordering Numbers

Once your child can recognise numbers 1-10, the next stage for them is to order the numbers. If your child is finding this difficult, don’t worry as the expectation is for children to order numbers 1-20 by the end of reception. If your child is confident with numbers 1-10 then move to number 11-20.

  1. You will need: milk bottle lids with numbers written on them.
  2. Place the lids with numbers on in a line in a random order.
  3. Ask your child to put them in the correct order, starting with one.
  4. I prompted my daughter by asking her ” what number comes next?” We would then count to see.
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