Letter Activities for Preschoolers

Teach your tots ABC with fun letter activities.

Talking comes naturally to most tots. Reading, not so much. In fact, your little one probably has several years of practice ahead before she finally masters One Fish, Two Fish. In the meantime, get a head start with letter activities and games that familiarize your alpha-tot with the alphabet: what letters look and sound like and how they go together to form words. The best part: She’ll be having fun. Keep at it and one day she’ll surprise you by actually reading — a red-letter day indeed.

Name That Letter

Every kid adores hearing his own name — and it’s usually one of the first words he’ll learn how to spell. For now, designate the first letter of his name as his special member of the alphabet. Your little one will love spotting “my letter” in a supermarket sign or on a license plate — try keeping a tally of how many times he spies it in a week. You can even turn him into a pint-size superhero by snipping his initial out of fabric or felt and pinning it to his T-shirt.

Sidewalk Scramble

Your on-the-go-ster won’t sit still to study the alphabet, so try a letter activity that’s as high-energy as she is. Grab your sidewalk chalk and write a letter every few feet on the sidewalk or driveway. Then call out a letter and challenge your toddler to race to the right one. Little ones can play with just a few familiar letters, like the letters in their names, but eventually older preschoolers can tackle the whole alphabet (in alphabetical order or mixed up). Even more fun is inviting another tot or two to join the game — whoever finds the right letter first gets to call out the next one.

Alphabet Snack

Turn snack time into a tasty learning activity. For instance, roll breadstick dough into letters, and then bake and serve with marinara dipping sauce. Arrange pretzel sticks into straight-backed letters; M, E, and L are good candidates. An alphabet cookie cutter turns toast into a teaching tool. Or use a permanent marker to write a letter or word on a piece of construction paper — your sweetie can trace the letter on his makeshift placemat by setting raisins or dry cereal pieces on top of it. Hey, there’s my name in Cheerios!

Floor Time

Invest in an alphabet floor mat and play a modified version of Twister with your preschooler: “Put your hand on C! Now your foot on F!” For littler ones, turn it into a throwing game; she gets to toss a beanbag or rolled-up sock onto the mat, while you help her call out the name of the letter it lands on. And for a letter activity all kids will love: Hide a foam alphabet letter and let her seek it. Once she uncovers the sneaky hiding spot, she might even earn a snack that starts with that letter — say, G for grapes or Y for yogurt.

Grab Bag

For an endless array of letter activities, toss those alphabet magnets from the fridge door into a bag. Let your tot pull out a letter, then help him think of things in the room that start with that letter: B is for book! L is for light bulb! Next turn, pick another letter and try to name an animal that starts with it. Or choose another letter and make its sound: Zzz! Older preschoolers can play a letter-match game, searching for the same letter they’ve pulled out of the bag somewhere else in the room, like on a magazine or a cracker box.

Flashlight Tag

Watch your little one light up when you combine her natural adoration of flashlights and a letter-learning activity you can play after dark. Write the letters of the alphabet (or a few that you’re working on) on sticky notes and attach them to the walls of her room. As you’re tucking her in at night, take turns finding the notes with the flashlight and calling out the names of the letters. With older preschoolers, you can challenge them to light up letters in an order that spells a simple word, like “C-A-T.”

Source What To Expect

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