This simple alphabet activity has many layers of exploration for our little ones. The soft felt leaves and hard clothes pins offer contrasting textures, opening and closing the clothes pins helps build hand strength, and of course there is letter recognition as well. Not bad for $3 in supplies from the dollar store. This is part of our Alphabet For Starters Series which aims to introduce and play with letters in fun dynamic ways.
Gather your materials. You will need some felt leaves ( I got mine at Dollar Tree ), a pen, and clothes pins. I also used my favorite little crates .
Write the uppercase letters on the felt. I just used a regular old pen. I had to wipe the tip a few times but it worked great otherwise.
Write the lowercase letters on the clothes pins.
Time to match. With younger children don’t just throw the whole alphabet to them. Give them 5 – 10 letters and then add more as needed. 10 was the perfect number for my daughter who is just 3. The act of matching the different forms of the letters was a bit of a challenge but if she would have had to dig through all 26 letters to find one she would have tired of this much sooner. Offer all 26 for older more experienced letter matchers.
Later in the day we played a game with the leaves and clothes pins. She would choose a clothes pin and tell me what letter it was then I would offer her a littler that did not match and say ” This is the match right?” She would say ” No! That is the letter XYZ.” until I offered her the correct leaf and she would cheer and clip it. She thought it was very funny to correct Mama. I also plan to use these letters for a indoor leaf hunt later this week.
Don’t forget to use this activity as a conversation starter to talk about the leaves in the trees around your house. Are they changing yet? Talk about why and pop outside to have a look.
Fall Alphabet Books
T is for Touchdown: A Football Alphabet by Brad Herzog is a beautiful book that will delight even those of us who are never happy to see football season start. I admit even being an anti fan this book was fun and really full of information that even a football scrooge like myself can appreciate. Also it’s easy to read simply the letters and look at the pictures for little ones and has genuinely interesting blurbs for each page for older children.
Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur is a lovely book that is also a wonderful introduction into this form of poetry for young children. Each page has a poem about the season, from Acorns, to Owls to Pumpkins. Each letter of the words are a jumping off point for a sentence in the poem. The beauty of this book is that it reads well traditionally as well as individual poems which really makes it two books in one.
Patty’s Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat is a great alphabet book and story in one. Readers follow a pumpkin patch from planting the seeds until after Halloween when they gather the seeds for the next planting. I really like how this book combines an alphabet book with both upper and lowercase letters corresponding to some animal or insect in the story . I also like the easy rhythm of the rhyming text and the engaging and detailed illustrations . All in all I think this is a great fall book.This post contains affiliate links.
Did you cut out the leaves or buy them?
Allison McDonald says
I bought them – and just edited the post to make that more clear. I am not bad at cutting paper but felt and I are not friends. I bought 2 packs of leaves at the Dollar Tree.
I was going to ask the same question at Erica. Adorable leaves! Would love to know if you can buy pre-cut ones somewhere!!
Allison McDonald says
Dollar Tree – I edited the post to say that. I didn’t want you to think that you were going nuts and just missed it. I hate when people edit after I ask a question and then I look nuts for asking the question. I bought 2 packs to make enough letters.
I just realized I picked up those felt leaves from the Dollar Tree, not knowing what I was going to do with them…now I know! Thanks 🙂
Kirstylee @ Moms Have Questions Too says
I love that you say to only give your child a few letters at a time. I definitely made the mistake of giving all 26 letters to my oldest when we did letter activities. He got frustrated and bored really quickly. I’ve learned now with my second child to only offer a few letters at a time. Thanks for the fun idea!
Amber L. says
I just saw those leaves at the Dollar Tree and now wish I would have picked up a couple of packs. I will have to try to go back tonight to get some before they are gone 🙂 Looks like a fun fall activity.
Allison McDonald says
Oh I am so glad they are back this year. I need to go to the dollar tree asap!