Super Simple Letter Sounds Matching

letter sounds hands on activity You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when you are working on early literacy skills ( or any other type of skill) with your kids. You can make simple activities like this letter sounds matching and fit them in between coming inside from playing and sitting down for lunch. These are little snippets of important learning that add up but don’t overwhelm. In a classroom I would have this as an option in a center and encourage but never force children to try it. Start with only a few sounds and as your child masters matching them add some more. I always have a few “safe” options. These are sounds you know your child knows and will work to boost confidence and add some definite success to an otherwise challenging endeavor.

My daughter cracked me up with this activity… you’ll see why. When children go off book like she did run with it if you can.

Gather your materials. You will need some thick paper ( but a chalk board, white board, or even a recycled cereal box would do), a marker, and some recognizable animal toys. easy letter sound activity for preK

Start by gathering the toys and writing out the letter that corresponds with the first sound in the word.  That’s it for set up. Pretty simple eh? I did two sheets one with upper and one with lowercase letters. You can also mix up the letters all on one page. Once children are at this point of matching sounds they need to be focusing a lot of attention on lowercase letters. I let my daughter decide which sheet she started with. letter sound match with toys

Add your letter sound detective ( that’s what she called herself) and explain that all the animals are looking for their place on the paper. letter sound matching game for early literacy developmentThey belong on the letter that says the same sound as the first sound in their name.  We did one together and she was off on her own. The only thing that made her pause was the walrus. ” Is this a seal or a walrus?” letter sound activity for children

Since she flew through it I gave her the second sheet. Then our babysitter arrived and my sweet and sassy little one turned on the performance. For the 2nd round of matching she decided to name the animals with first names and at first I was trying to get her back on track until I realized the names she was creating matched the letters on the page. Whoa!! She wasn’t just matching anymore now she was creating and being really funny so our giggles fueled her even more. letter sound activity for children matching game

Awesome learning from an activity that took all of 2 minutes to set up.

Here are more than 50 more simple letter ideas for kids.

50 awesome alphabet activities

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.

Painting with Cookie Cutters

abc activityWith summer around the corner I usually shift from more involved activities to simpler ones . We used these alphabet cookie cutters for a playdough activity ages ago and they were the perfect tool for this painting activity.  I loved how amazed my daughter was every time she lifted the cookie cutter up to reveal the letter below. This is such an easy way to play with letters. There is no structure just colors, tools and exploration. This post is part of our Alphabet For Starters series. A series of posts that introduce and play with letters.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint, plates, alphabet cookie cutters ( or any shape really you don’t have to do the alphabet) and some paper.
  2. If you want to extend the activity a little take some time to mix colors with the paint. We used different colors and added white paint with each . My daughter called them ice cream colors. I have to agree! There are no pictures of us mixing the colors because her mixing got rather exuberant . Remember to have a wet cloth on hand so you don’t have to stash the toddler covered in paint under your arm while running to get one like I did.abc painting mixing
  3. Spread the paint on the paper plates, lay your paper down and go for it!abc painting colors
  4. She had a blast and it’s such a natural activity for letter recognition. You don’t even have to prompt your child if they are at all familiar with letters they will likely announce which they are using.  If not feel free to say things like ” Look you made an orange H ! Cool! ” but keep it light. I have no clue why her foot is on the window ledge but I am rather in awe of her flexibility.abc painting with letter cookie cutters
  5. Keep going and if your paper is large rotate it for more room to stamp.abc letter painting
  6. Let dry and display. Try to always display your children’s creations even if you only hang them up for a short while. Let them feel pride in their accomplishments.

Awesome ABC Books 

eating the alphabet

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire and perfect for a letter F eek, since it’s all about food!  Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry.

chica chica boom boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Anniversary Edition by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is one of my absolute favorite books ever. Many alphabet books are great tools but this one not only entertains it never gets old. It’s text is musical , it’s premise is brilliant in it’s simplicity and kids love it. My favorite line is ” Skit skat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. ” I hope I am conveying how much fun this book is to read out loud. I have never had a class who didn’t like it and if you don’t have it, you should!

alphabeep

Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list.

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23 Garden Crafts & Activities For Kids

garden crafts and activities for kidsIt’s time to get ready for spring ! These 23 garden themed crafts and activities will get your child ready for a fun spring even if the weather still seems to think it’s winter. I can’t wait to get outside and play and learn in our garden more now that it’s getting warmer ( and drier) . These crafts and activities include ones to do inside and others that take you out in the fresh air. Something for everyone!

Gardening For Letters
Spring Garden Sensory Tub
Dirt Dessert Cups
Painting With Bugs
Ladybug Craft
Mud Soup
Garden Sensory Tub
Alphabet Garden
Newspaper & Button Flowers
Milk Carton Bird Feeder
Backyard Photo Scavenger Hunt
Giant Sunflower
Learning About Veggies
sunflower craft
Daisy Math
Find & Count Bug Hunt
Painting with Nature
Super Simple Bird Feeder
Family Flower Garden
Garden Vegetable Printing
Painting with veggies
Nature Color Hunt
Yarn Nest
Kid Friendly Family Garden
Venus Fly Trap Craft
Easy Cereal Bird Feeders

Disappearing Letters – Alphabet For Starters Activity

abc activity for kids It’s been a while since we have done an Alphabet For Starters activity. This is our popular series of alphabet activities that aim to introduce and play with letters in simple ways for beginners. This one was a true “Throw it together” activity. I was on a conference call for the first half sitting on the other side of the table jotting down notes while she played. When I saw what a hit it was I grabbed my camera and started clicking. This combines letter recognition, color mixing and fine motor all in a super simple activity.

  1. Gather your materials. I have no photo because this wasn’t planned at all but you will need a container for water, an eye dropper,  some coffee filters, a plate to protect your table from the running colors, markers and coffee filters. Have multiple coffee filters on hand because kids love this.
  2. Start by writing letters on the coffee filter.
  3. Ask your child to find their favorite letter. I like saying this instead of ” Find f, find r…” because in my experience it leads to them deciding which letter to find next and naturally declaring which letter it is. Drop the water on using the eye dropper and watch it disappear. My daughter LOVED this. ” It’s gone Mama!” She made multiple ones and helped me choose which letters to write.
  4. After my call was done I gave her the markers and she made her own letters on some coffee filters. When kids are learning to write even at the very early stages never say to them ” That’s not a B it’s a scribble, here let me make you a real B.” Their writing is a B it’s just in the early stages of development and by encouraging them their development will get there slow and steady as it is meant to.

Alphabet Books

 Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert is an alphabet book extraordinaire and perfect for a letter F eek, since it’s all about food! Wonderful paintings of fruits and vegetables seem ultra simple and it is but somehow the way the author has pieced this simple book together is brilliant. Maybe it’s that children learn about food at the table multiple times a day and feel proud being able to identify not only some of the letters but some of the pictures too! From a teaching standpoint I love that there are both upper and lower case letters on each page! This book will grow with your child, and beware it will also make you hungry. { This is one of my daughter’s very favorite alphabet books right now and possibly the number one reason she knows all her upper and lowercase letters} .

The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra is a great alphabet book. I couldn’t help myself, I read it to my son to the tune of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . It is clearly it’s own book though. The alphabet is getting ready for bed and just like your little ones, these lowercase letters are pulling out all their tricks and antics to avoid bedtime. Well almost all of them, z is more than happy to go to bed! It’s a sweet book that your kids can relate to and I like that it focuses on lowercase letters .

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