If you are a mom of a toddler or preschooler and/or a teacher, there are alphabet teaching goals we all have for our kids. We want them to learn reading and writing. Learning letters is one of the first steps they can take. In another post- Preschool Education Based Skills, I break down at what ages children start working on different aspects of letter learning. Here I have compiles 30+ Fun Ways to Teach the Alphabet to Little Kids. Enjoy!
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3 Stages of Learning Letters
Introducing the letters.
Practice associating the letter with shape and sound.
Recalling the shape and sound of the letters.
You want to make sure your kiddo has mastered 1 and 2 before getting them to recall. They can’t tell you what a letter is if you haven’t shared it with them first! Remember that every kid is different. Some will learn super fast and others will need more practice. This is why I have compiled so many different ways for you to introduce and practice the letters! Fun Ways to teach the alphabet to kids.
These are some of the most used ways to introduce letters. A lot of them have the letter, big and small, along with a picture that matches the letter song. I have used them in the classroom, with my own children and to teach online with English Language Learning Kiddos. They may seem basic but are a powerful and very easy tool. It is very easy to create your own with some markers and paper but look below for some of my favorites you can find on Amazon. They even make them with a texture tracing option (sandpaper, glue dots, etc.) I also have many different sets of Alphabet FlashCards in my Busy Box Download Library or on my Teacher Pay Teacher Store.
2. Song and Rhyme
Kids love it when learning can be fast and fun. Songs and rhymes create patterns for them. We all know as adults how some songs can get stuck in our heads. These are some songs we really want to be stuck in our kid’s heads. It will help them remember and notice those letters in other areas of life. Moving to the music and creating movements to associate with each letter also helps with memory. Here is a list of some new and old Alphabet songs and rhymes.
We always hear that reading to our children is one of the best ways to help them with school learning. In 9 Ways to Make the Most of Reading with Your Kids, I tell you all about why it’s important! There are so many amazing alphabet books that we can read with them to build letter knowledge and recognition. I have to limit myself here because I love children’s books, so I will give you my favorites. All are available at your local library I’m sure but I will include some Amazon links for you!
4. Chalk Play
Both sidewalk chalk or chalkboard and easel can be used for letter writing. You can help them move their hand along to create the letters, use books and flashcards for the kids to copy, or even just say the letter and have them reproduce it.
5. Sticker Play
Kids love stickers! There are so many cool alphabet stickers out there. This can be a cool way to practice or even recall with your kids. I say this because there are so many different kinds of fonts out there. The letter “A” may look different from one set of stickers to another. They have to know the basic shape of the letters to recognize them in the funky fonts.
You can get letter stamps and have them practice or write the letter out big and have them stamp along the lines to form the letter. Bonus points if your stamps are words with a matching sound to the letter you are practicing.
7. Play Dough
It helps to have the letters written out big for this one. Get to rolling some play-dough snakes and lay them onto the letter lines to create the letter. Don’t forget to practice your kiddos name with this as well. It makes it even more personal.
8. Finger Tracing
Using a finger to trace out letters is the beginning of writing. One of our 5 senses is touch. It can be a great way to help that information stick to the brain. Below I have listed some of the things we can use to practice tracing the letters and getting the kids to use their sense of touch.
It is really fun to do a letter craft as you introduce each letter. Create a creature or thing that matches the letter shape and sound to help move to the association stage of the learning. Here is a list of ideas- one for each letter.
E- Electric eel
11. Name Play
A fun way to get kids started with letters is to teach the ones that appear in their names first. Create their name with flashcards, write it and have them match it with the cards. These are usually some of the very first letters kids masters. The one at the beginning of their name! Check out this post with a Painted Rock Name Craft!
12. Dance and Move
When I taught Kindergarten and first grade one of my favorite things to do was dance around for a brain break with my class. Little did they know the music we were dancing to will still working their brain. Our favorite was Alphabet Aerobics!
13. Alphabet Snack
Again, write out those letters nice and big. Have the kiddos line up their favorite snack along the lines to create the letter shapes. Bonus if it’s a snack that starts with that letter sound. (Math bonus: Count how many it took to create the letter before eating!)
Here are some awesome alphabet cookie cutters from Amazon! You can use them with playdough or cookie dough. They would also work to cut bread, cheese, or lunch meat slices into fun letter shapes.
14. Water Play
Use a water gun, sponge, paintbrush to practice writing the letters with the kids. You can write it and have them say its name or sound and then give them a turn to write on with the water. You can use squirt guns to wash away the chalk letters outside for an easy way to revisit a previous activity.
15. Creating Letter Shapes with your body.
This one is most useful when you have a class full of kids to use. Get them lined up on the floor to create the letter shapes and take a photo. They will love recognizing the letter and seeing their own shining faces in the photo.
16. Sign Language
This is a super fun way to teach the letter recall practice. Say the letter and have the student practice creating the matching hand movement.
17. Tracing Letter Roads
Create these cute letter roads for your kiddos to trace with his or her favorite toy cars. Ride the roads and learn the letters at the same time. Here is a great link to some I created on Teacher Pay Teacher.
18. Alphabet Puzzles
Puzzles can be fun and engaging. There are some great ones out there to help with learning the alphabet!
19. Computer Games and YouTube Videos
We all love to hate screen time but there are some great educational options out there! They can enjoy some screen time and practice their alphabet too!
You can use a lot of these great ideas and creations I am talking about here to fill up the pages. Your kid will have a personal connection to the book and love to read all the pages they helped to create. A great way to review the letters during and after learning them!
21. Photo Collage
Cut out photos from magazines or color books to create letter collages for each letter. Be sure to add this to your alphabet books!
Grab out an old keyboard and some flashcards. Get the kids to match the card to the keys on the board. They get to type just like mom, dad, and teacher.
Grab a container for your recycling bin or this cool tiny trash can and craft it into a fun dinosaur or monster. Have the kiddos feed the monster the letters. Check out the DIY and How to Video!
25. Search and Find
This is when you show the kiddo a letter flashcard and have them look all around for a matching letter. It could be in a book or just anywhere in the house. We even play this game in the car while driving sometimes. In all my Busy Boxes I include a letter wand! They are great for seeking out letters during this game!
Get this fun set of rainbow pipe cleaners and get bending with your kiddo to shape letters big and small.
28. Bottle Cap Matching Game
Save up any kind of bottle cap! When you have 26, that will be enough to write one uppercase letter on each cap. Then write the corresponding lowercase letters on some cardboard and have the kiddos match up the letters. Here is a link to another blog full of instructions on how to create this game!
I really hope you enjoyed this great list of Fun Ways to teach the alphabet to kids! Keep a lookout for more learning ideas and please subscribe if interested in having them sent straight to your inbox.
29. Busy Boxy Games
Every Busy Box (What’s a Busy Box?) I create has some letter learning games included! There are Letter Wands and Alphabet Flashcard downloads in each box. I also have included fun photos, videos, and explanations of how to use those tools.
Here are some of the Busy Boxes I have Created Below.