Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to share some engaging alphabet activities and ideas to help students learn those letters and beginning sounds. Ideally, all first graders should come to class knowing these. Even in kindergarten, they really should know these. However, you know there is always at least one that is having a hard time with this very important foundational MUST. It is for that reason that I have a bit of an obsession with scouting alphabet activities for children to help them get over this hurdle. And well, maybe it has grown kind of unnatural, lol! I mean, giving a lady stink eye because she grabbed that Beanie Baby at the yard sale that stood for the missing letter I needed for my alphabet stuffed toy collection might have been overboard, lol! Sorry lady, but I saw it first! Or getting excited like a kid to see a bin of tiny knick knack toys that might help complete my collection of small alphabet manipulatives at my age is not very becoming, haha! Ok, so I have an abnormality with the alphabet. But maybe it is not. See, I want to see all kids succeed, and if they are going to succeed, they need their alphabet foundation to be solid. I believe it is important to find multiple ways to teach the alphabet to keep it interesting for students struggling in this area.
With that said, here is some alphabet teaching inspiration to keep that alphabet instruction engaging, hands-on, and fun!
Activity #1 Alphabet Stuffed Toys
These are handy for letter of the week or letter of the day. You can let those who are struggling to learn their letters hold them too! You can use these as part of a sorting activity. Students can lay the pictures that make the same sound as the alligator by the alligator doll. You can have students place them in alphabetical order. I did my collecting of these at yard sales.
Activity #3 Alphabet Art
Add cups of small items in an alphabet center for students to use to form the letter of the day (or week). Then have them make a textured rubbing later on after it is dried. Sorry for no pic on that one yet.
Activity #4 Alphabet Formation with Toys
Have them line up those toys on a letter card! This duals as a fun sensory activity, and helps students who are struggling with remembering how to form those alphabet letters.
Activity #5 Beaded Letter Chains
Another method similar to the toy formation is to to use some pony beads to form bead chains in different sizes. Students can then use them to form letters. For struggling students, you can provide some letter mats for them to form them on top.
Here is the different size bead chains I used for the letters. You will want multiples of each size, of course! If your unsure on what sizes to create, if you do have some letter mats, you can use those to help you make the different sizes needed.
Activity #5 Alphabet Cards
I know this is nothing super original, but I just wanted to remind you how easy it is to create alphabet games with a deck of alphabet cards. All you need is two cards for each letter. These are a must-have for playing a game of go-fish or match. Easy to set-up. Easy to store. Effective and fun! You can also get some letter cards and some with the beginning sound pictures and have students play some sort of matching game with those. For more of a challenge, if you got some pictures of a animals and things that represent a beginning sound with no letter, students can match letters to those. You can usually snag up a set of alphabet cards for a $1 too, so very cheap! 🙂
Activity #6 Alphabet Manipulatives
Students can have multiple, small trinket toys that represent targeted letters. Students can sort them by beginning sound by simply matching them by a letter card. Students can have an alphabet journal and illustrate one of these under each letter too!
Activity #7 Alphabet Shaped Flip Books
Instead of boring worksheets, have them make something with meaning: a flip book in the shape of each letter! Students can work on letter recognition activities. Students can work on handwriting activities, beginning sounds, and letter recognition with these. They can stand solo or be used in an interactive notebook! And best of all, you get a lot of activities stored on just half a page of an interactive notebook! It also really helps because students can revisit their interactive notebooks and take ownership of their work because it becomes a published work. You can find these here.