Best Alphabet Activities For Toddlers, Preschool And Pre K Kids
The activities for children in this article are designed to encourage your child to learn the letters of the alphabet so that they will go on to become good readers. When children are young they absorb information quickly, and if you can combine this with playful activities then you are going to get some very good results.
Learning while they play is much more interesting than formal learning for toddlers. Older children will respond to formal learning a little better, but you will find that their attention spans will be quite short. When you use these activities to do with kids it is best to just start them and talk while the activity is going on.
- Hide Those Letters
The aim of this activity is to ask your toddler to make a letter disappear from sight. They can choose their own letters or you can tell them which ones you want them to hide. If they know the letters in their name then you must include these in the activity.
This can be easily played on a table. All you need is a fairly large sheet of paper with capital letters drawn on them clearly. Alternatively you can print these letters out in different colors and stick them to the paper. You may want to prepare 2 or 3 sheets with different letters on them.
You will need some cut outs that your child can place over the letters to hide them. These can be round or square pieces of card. If your child knows the letters in their name then this is a great place to start. Tell them to find and hide all of the letters in their name. As they cover each letter, ask them to tell you the letter name and the sound that it makes.
You can ask them what their favorite letter is and ask them to hide that. Once they have covered a few letters, you can ask them to find the letter “R” or some other letter that they have covered up. Your child will love letter recognition games like this, and will probably want to play this a lot.
- Use A Fun Reading Program
If your child is over 2 years of age and already talking, then you can use a fun reading program to encourage them to learn to read every day. There are several programs that claim they will teach your child how to read early, but some of these use sight words as the basis of learning and these are not recommended.
You want to use a reading program that is phonics based and will develop your child’s phonemic awareness. The program also needs to be deliverable in short, fun lessons so that your child will really enjoy the learning to read process. There is no need to pay hundreds of dollars for such a program.
Jim Yang taught all of his children how to read when they were only two years old. The methods that he used were both fun and engaging for his children and they quickly developed into fluent readers. The letters of the alphabet and the sounds that they make were one of the first steps.
Jim Yang created the highly efficient Children Learning Reading program from these successful methods. Within this program you will receive step by step instructions on how to make learning to read fun, and what you will need to do every day. The lessons have already been designed for you, and can be delivered in less than 10 minutes each day.
These learning techniques are ideal for young children, but will also work well for a child of any age. The Children Learning Reading program has helped thousands of parents like you teach their young children how to read. There are lots of videos and testimonials that prove this. Take a look at the amazing Children Learning Reading program here.
- Fun Large Alphabet Letters
You will need a computer and a printer to do this, or you can buy large paper based letters from the toy store. It is best to use fairly thick card here as you want the letters to be able to stand up. Go for large printable letters. Three feet tall is good, as the letters will be as big as your child (or almost).
The idea with this activity is that you will add pictures or drawings of objects or animals that begin with the letter, to the individual large letters. If your child can draw then encourage them to draw the items. You can do this with them to encourage them. Before you know it you will have the entire large letter filled with pictures or drawings.
The important thing here is that your child associates the letter “S” for example, as the beginning letter for snake, shoe, steps, school or whatever else is on the large letter. This is a great way to teach your child that specific items begin with specific letters. They will learn the different sounds that the letters make by doing this, and have great fun at the same time.
- Treasure Hunt With Letters
For this game you will need some brown bags with letters written or stuck on the outside. You will hide these bags and insert items in them that either begin with the corresponding letter, or have the letter in them. So for example you could have a letter “A” bag that has an apple inside and a picture of an ant.
If your child is a fairly developed reader, then you can go for the letters in the name of the item. So taking letter “A” as an example again, you could add a cat picture or a toy car. Some edible treats can really help to spice up the game, and if you don’t want to use candy then go for fruits or savory snacks that are not full of additives.
Just use your imagination when playing this game. You could hide a few bags and ask your child to find specific letters. Ask them what letter their name starts with, and then get them to find this bag. You could add an extra special treat to this one! This is one of the best free children’s activities that your child will really enjoy no matter what age they are.
- Feel The Letter
The idea of this game is that your child will put their hand into a container and feel for a specific letter. There are other variations which will be explained below. You will need some plastic letters, foam letters or any kind of letters that are safe for young children to handle. Make them different sizes for extra fun.
Ask your child to put their hand in the container and choose a specific letter. If they get it wrong then it is not a problem. Tell them the name of the letter that they have chosen and ask them to put it back and try again. Alternatively you can just ask them to feel for any letter, and when they take it out of the container they have to tell you what the letter is.
As they pull out the different letters you can practice the letter sounds together. Every so often you can shake the container to really mix the letters up. By using their senses you will help your child in many ways. This is one of the best letter recognition activities for preschool and pre k, and it should be a lot of fun for your child. They will probably want to play this game over and over again so best be prepared for that.
- Make A Pizza Out Of Letters
This activity is probably best for a child of 3 years or older. What you will be doing here is providing a pizza base made of card that your child will decorate to look like a pizza. They will be given pepperoni (pink circles of card with letters written on them), and cheese (yellow colored strips of paper) and onions (white half moon shapes of paper) and green peppers (made from green paper).
Cut out a pizza size circle from a piece of card. You can use an old pizza box for this but make sure that the edge is not sharp after you have cut out the circle. Prepare the “toppings” from card and paper. You will need 26 pink card circles for each of the letters which will be the pepperoni. Then cut out the cheese strips and the onion and green pepper shapes.
The first step is to create the pizza base topping. It is recommended to use orange paint here. You can use edible paint if your child is very young. Ask your child to paint the pizza base. They are likely to make a mess doing this, so cover anything you don’t want painted. Let the paint dry and then give your child the toppings to add with glue. A flour and water mixture is fine for the glue.
They will have great fun being creative here. As they add the letters, ask them to tell you the letter name and sound. You can also tell them to add a specific letter next.
- Making Letters Out Of Play Dough
If your child has play dough, then why not get them to create letters with it? If your child is young then you can help them to do this. To enjoy this fun activity you will need some play dough and a non stick letter sheet that you and your child can refer to. A good way to start this activity is to get your child to trace around the letter with the play dough.
Get your child to roll the play dough into cylinders and then join them together to form the different letters. This will help them to develop their motor skills. They will also be learning about shapes and space here, and they will need good hand to eye coordination to get the letters right. As they complete each letter give them a lot of praise.
Once they become confident with letters you can ask them to make you a play dough “T” for example. If they make any mistakes doing this then it is not a problem. Show them the letter and ask them to copy it. You could make laminated cards for each letter and ask your child to stick the play dough letters on top.
- Become An Alphabet Archaeologist
This activity can either be done inside the home or outdoors. What you will be doing here is filling a fairly large container with sand, and then burying all of the letters of the alphabet into the sand. Then ask your child to find each letter with a brush. You will want to use dry sand for this activity, and if you think that your child will try to eat the sand you could use flour instead.
You will want a fairly large tub or small sand play tub for this activity. Fill the tub with the sand and then bury the plastic letters into it. If your child is a toddler, then just lightly bury the letters. Then show your child how to find one of the letters by brushing the sand away to uncover it.
This is a really easy game to play and your child should enjoy it. Each time they uncover a letter, ask them to tell you what it is and practice the letter sound together. Place the letter to one side and start searching with that brush again. This great activity will aid fine motor development with the paint brush, and help with memory development and concentration. And your child will be learning about the alphabet as well.
- Different Colored Letters
Here is a really easy and effective activity that can keep your child amused for some time and have them learning letters too. For this activity all you will need is some paper with pre drawn letters on and some crayons for your child to draw around the letters. Make the letters a reasonable size so that colors can be used inside and out.
Tell your child that you want them to use as many colors as they can to create a “rainbow letter”. Show them how to do this by tracing around the original letter with one color, and then using another color to trace inside the first color and so on. They can trace inside or outside the letter with different colors, so make sure that there is enough space.
Ask them to make a rainbow letter “S”. They will need to choose the letter correctly, and before they start coloring they have to practice the letter sound with you. This will help them to develop the motor skills that they will need to hold a crayon and trace with it. They will also be able to identify different colors. Help them identify the letters at first if they need your assistance. In no time they will be able to do this by themselves.
- What Letter Did Teddy Eat?
You do not have to use a teddy bear for this activity. You can use a doll or other toy that your child loves. The idea of this activity is that you will lay out the 26 letters of the alphabet on the floor. You can make your own cards for this or buy them from a toy store. You will need one additional card that has a question mark on it.
Lay the cards out in the right alphabetic order. Use teddy (or another of their favorite toys) to glide over the cards, and then lower the mouth of the toy on top of a card and replace it with the question mark card. Then ask your child which letter Teddy has eaten. Your child should find this fun, and they will need to look at the remaining cards to see if they can work out which one has been eaten.
Help your child with this at first if they need it. You could even have teddy eat two letters or more if you wish. If you don’t have a question mark card then you can just take the letter card away when teddy has “eaten it”. When your child gets the letter right then always praise them. Once your child is confident with the alphabet, you could play this game with words. Spell out a word and get teddy to eat a letter. Then ask your child which letter it is.
Teaching your child about letters and their sounds is a wonderful thing to do, and these things to do for kids will help them to develop at the same time as being fun for them. Try them all and you will find that they will like some of the games more than others, and will want to play those more often. It doesn’t matter which activities you play as long as your child is learning about the alphabet.
Teach your child to read from the age of two with the wonderful Children Learning Reading program from Jim Yang. There are fun lesson activities to use every day, and this program has been proven to work for many other parents. When you teach your child how to read you will be providing them with a great head start in life, so find out more about Children Learning Reading here.