Learn Your ABCs: Making Letter Recognition Fun
When it comes to academic learning, there is no doubt letters form the foundation. Without clear understanding of these basics, students cannot achieve classroom success. Luckily, there are many options for teaching letter recognition — and they’re fun and easy, too!
Whether you’re a parent preparing your young child for school or a teacher working with young students, letter learning works best with lots of opportunities for practice. Check out these ideas for letter learning games.
Go On a Letter Hunt
Try this fun idea and send your young one on a letter hunt. You’ll need a few simple supplies—plastic letters, a tub or bin, cornmeal, and an answer key. Have your students dig through the cornmeal-filled bin for letters and then match their discoveries to the answer key.
Don’t like the mess? Try an even simpler form of letter hunting. Parents can take their children on a letter hunt while running errands. Look for each letter of the alphabet at the store, the post office, or even out on a neighborhood walk. Teachers, you can put this same idea to work in your classroom. Let students search the room for letters on bulletin boards, in books and games, on posters, and more. This idea can easily be adapted to remote learning as well, by sending your students on a letter scavenger hunt in their homes. Set a time limit and call them back to reveal what they’ve found.
Use Your Senses
Sensory play is important for cognitive development in young children. Using letter learning with hands-on activities creates an opportunity to combine instruction and entertainment. Make letters come to life with this activity that mixes science with letter learning. Or, check out this idea that uses shaving cream as a base for writing letters. Simply have your student write letters with her fingers in the shaving cream (spread out on a cookie sheet) to practice learning how to form letters correctly.
Create an Alphabet Box
Follow this tutorial to make your own alphabet box. This activity introduces students to letters through objects that have the same beginning sound, helping them make the connection between letters and how they form the basis of words.
Pick a Letter of the Week
Teachers are used to spotlighting a student of the week, so why not take it a step further with a star letter of the week? You can even combine the two ideas—choose a student and then use his or her first initial as your letter of the week. If you need inspiration for putting a letter in the spotlight, check out these ideas. Or, use this list to create a library of books to support your letter-of-the-week lesson.
Find the Right Materials
Make sure your students are off to a great start when it comes to learning letters by using the right materials. Our On Our Way to Reading kit for grades K to 3 helps students develop language skills. Books in this kit focus on foundational topics such as colors, shapes, numbers, rhyming words, sounds, letters, and more.