Reuse the inflatable air cushions that are often used to pack out and protect deliveries. They make a fun popping activity and the options are endless with this one.


  • Inflatable air cushions
  • Whiteboard pen


For the first activity, I wrote the numbers 10 to 20 on the packaging. I then asked Finn to tell me different ways to make each number. Once he’d given me some ideas he could jump on the inflatable air cushion and pop it.

How many ways can you make the number 10?

How many ways can you make the number 12?

How many ways can you make the number 15?

While Finn was completing his number pop, I asked Ioan to write the number words on some air cushions. He also wrote the days of the week.

How do you spell 14?

Ioan had to hide the cushion behind his back and spell the word correctly to pop it.

Match the numerical digits to the number words

To promote teamwork, the boys had to work together to match the digits to the number words. They then had to hide the cushions behind their backs whilst Ioan spelt the word and Finn told me how to write the number.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – addition and subtraction

  • use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20
  • add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add two single-digit numbers and count on to find the answer.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

English Year 1 programme of study

Reading – word reading

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word

Writing – transcription


  • words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught
    • common exception words
  • the days of the week