Teaching kids their ABCs is fun with these simple alphabet activities that work at home and in the classroom. Learning to recognize letters and letter sounds is essential for building literacy and reading skills. Even if you are using a formal phonics program, these fun activities are great add-ons to reinforce skills such as:
- matching lowercase and uppercase letters
- visual recognition of letters
- matching sounds and letters
- naming consonants and vowels
- letter formation
These alphabet activities will work for preschoolers or kindergarteners and early elementary-aged students.
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An alphabet puzzle is a simple tool to help your child learn his ABCs. We got loads of use out of our wooden ABC puzzle with capital letters. Each letter piece lifts up to reveal a picture of a word that starts with that letter, giving kids a fun introduction to matching sounds and letters.
Matching Letter Case
This clothespin alphabet activity combines fine motor and literacy skills, and keeps kids busy, too! Separate lowercase and uppercase sandpaper ABC cards are perfect for this, but you can also make your own from construction paper. Stretch a string across the room at child height. Using clothespin, the child hangs letters in alphabetical order across the line.
Sensory Letter Bin
Kids love the tactile experience of this letter activity! Fill a bin with a sensory material like rice or dry beans (being mindful that the child will no longer put objects in his mouth). Then hide plastic or wooden letters in the bin. Kids hunt for letters with thier hands or a large spoon, naming the letters as they find them. As a bonus, encourage your child to put found letters in alphabetical order or to form simple consonant-vowel-consonant words like "cat" or "dog."
Make a simple alphabet sensory bin for preschoolers like this one; or
Kids who have advanced to working on spelling practice can turn the sensory letter bin into a "sift n spell" game.
ABC Game Pieces
When you want a very relaxed and open-ended way to teach your child to recognize letters, sit down with some game pieces from a word game like Boggle, or Scrabble. Allow your child to identify the letters, rearrange the letters, and sound them out. If you want a formal ABC game to play, choose one of our favorite word games for kids.
Tracing individual alphabet letters is the first step to learning how to form letters and write with fluency. Your child can practice letter tracing with specially designed cards (shown in photo) or magnet wand boards, or with a homemade salt tray activity. Pour salt into a shallow tray. Kids then use their forefinger to write letters in the salt. Alternatively, use shaving cream or flour for a different tactile experience.
More Alphabet Activities
ABC Books. What better way to learn the alphabet than in the context of reading! We selected these totally not-boring alphabet children's books to help you out.
Alphabet Charades. I love this activity! A mom describes how her kids invented this fun ABC game that allowed them to get their bodies moving.
Letter delivery. Kids will love how imaginative this letter delivery game is. Scatter letters around the room, call them out and kids will drive their toy cars over to pick them up and deliver them to a mail box.