Letter Sounds Activity with Locks

letter sounds activityLetter recognition is important but more important is knowing what sounds letters make. This is a fun and easy to throw together letter sound activity that uses novelty to make learning fun. My daughter has known her letters for a while but at three there is zero rush for her to start reading. I am not following any program or book, I am following her lead. She has been testing out sounds, pretending to read books to me and her brother, and asking to spell words. When I see signs like these I try some playful ways to challenge her but if there is resistance , frustration or confusion I back off. As parents we want to challenge and support not push or drill. After the first time we played this letter sounds activity I was pretty sure we had a winner, after the 4th time I was certain.

Gather your materials. You will need some stickers of easily identifiable things, masking tape, locks with keys, and a marker.

learn to read activity

Start by adding the sticker to the locks. letter sounds

Next add masking tape to the keys and write the letter on.

Lock the locks and pop the keys in a container. letter sounds

Time to play. She explored all the locks at first and then dove in. letter sounds with locks and keys

The letter sounds weren’t too big a challenge but the fine motor control required was. letter sounds gameMatching up keys with locks and opening them uses other skills too like hand eye coordination and hand strength too.  It took her a few tries to get the first key in but after a while she was a pro. unlock letter sounds

She loved that she could do the activity with no help from me. My daughter is about as independent as they come. key letter sound  matchI let her go for it and then after she was done have her show me her work. She walked me through each pair telling me the letter and the sound on each lock and key. lock and key literacy activity for preschool and kindergarten

Then she closed them all up and played again and again.

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  1. Katie says

    Allison, this is genius! What a PERFECT activity for preschoolers who are all about independence because they’re motivated to play (who doesn’t want to open a lock, especially one that has a STICKER on it!) and are working letters and sound skills all at the same time. OK, I have to repeat it…GENIUS! Thanks!

  2. Mary Taylor says

    Awesome! This looks like so much fun! Where did you find all the locks/keys? Were they terribly expensive?
    I can’t wait to try this with my son! Thanks for all the great ideas for this Mama!!

    • Allison McDonald says

      Some were – I think one cost $8 way back when and I slowly collected the first 4 or 5 but every time I go to the dollar store I check and finally they had them. So I bought a bunch.

  3. Allanah says

    i love this idea! will be setting it up for girls tonight!
    For those in Canada, Dollarama has 2pks for $1 for locks that are 1 1/4″ wide.
    I’m going to do a matching set for my 2yo, and a phonetic set for my 4yr old.
    Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Candi says

    What an awesome idea!! My daughter will love, love, love this one!!! We’ve been goin through a lot if your ideas for fun, she’s only 2.5, but I think this will be the winner to get her to associate the letter and sound!!


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