The following alphabet activities are generic letter activities that can be used with any letter of the alphabet.
General Alphabet Activities
Alphabet Hopping Trail
Use masking tape, or print out our letter templates to create a trail of letters on the floor of the classroom from A to Z. Have the kids start at A, and then follow the course along the alphabet until they get to Z, hopping from letter to letter. For a twist that will make the game a little bit harder, move the course around itself so that kids have to pick out the correct letter from a couple possible choices.
This is a fun snack time activity you can do every week with a different letter. Get a large bag of M&M candies, a box of graham crackers, some cake frosting and decorative cake icing. Break the graham crackers in half into square pieces, and apply a thin layer of frosting to each one. Set a bowl of M&M’s out at a table.
As children come to the table for their snack, use the decorative icing to write a letter on their cracker. Have them get M&M’s from the bowl and place them over the outline to work on letter recognition. You can have them take two crackers . . . one for upper case and one for lower case. It’s a fun and tasty way to learn about the alphabet!
Notice: You can find a recipe for generic icing to use for this activity in our parent and teacher resource book. It works great for decorating on top of the frosting.
Alphabet Wall Pocket Sorting
Get some paper lunch bags and write a different letter on each one with a marker. You can do the entire alphabet or pick 5 or 6 letters at a time, depending on how complicated you want to make this activity. Print out some of the letter flashcards for whatever letters you are using, whether it be certain letters or the entire alphabet. You can either keep the flashcards as is, with the word attached to the bottom, or cut the word off leaving only the picture–again, depending on how hard you want to make this activity: use only the pictures if you want kids to guess the phonetic sound and match it to the proper letter.
Give kids the flashcards, and have them go through the stack and sort them, dropping them into the correct bag like Valentine’s Day cards.
Sandpaper Letter Rubbings (Fine Motor)
Use a small letter stencil to trace letters onto the back of sandpaper, then cut them out with a box cutter. Tape the letters onto your table using double-sided tape, sandpaper side up. Give kids paper and crayons, and have them set the paper over one of the sandpaper letters. Then rub the crayon back and forth to create the impression for that letter on their paper.
Alphabet Sock Puppets
For this activity you’ll need…
1 sock for each child
Fabric or craft scissors
Fabric paint or makers
Glue & glitter (optional)
Trace whatever letter you’re working on onto the felt paper using our 4-to-a-page size letter stencil. Cut it out with craft scissors. You’ll need 1 letter for each child. Next cut a slit in the toe of each sock to create an opening. Set the fabric paint out at a table and give each child a sock. Have them decorate each sock however they’d like with the paints, adding glue and glitter if desired. You can also have them cut shapes from scrap felt paper, cloth, or yarn to glue onto the socks to decorate their puppet. Once they are finished, glue the felt letter you cut earlier onto the toe of the sock for a face.
Once finished, you’ll have a fun puppet that can be used to teach the alphabet and phonics. You can “feed” the puppets word cards that start with that letter by pushing them through the slot you created for a mouth, and have them spit out word cards that don’t start with that letter. You can also use them as a group time prop when you discuss your letter of the week: Have kids put their puppet on and pretend to eat words that start with the letter of the week or spell out words using their puppet.
Words for Lunch
This is a great way for teachers to reinforce whole language skills on a weekly basis. Go to Wal-Mart or any office supply store, and buy a package of blank printable address labels. Write out words on the labels that start with your letter of the week, and at lunch/snack time, attach the words to the children’s cups. Have kids work together to figure out each other’s words, providing hints here and there when needed. Try to use character or descriptive words such as lion, lizard, or lollipop, and kids will have fun talking about which word they are.
Create Alphabet Encyclopedia
As you do each letter of the week, have a teacher color all the different alphabet sheets for that letter and put them together in a binder in sheet protectors to build an alphabetic book that kids can flip through. Its a great way to work on emergent literacy.
Alphabet Group Time Activities
Gather a lot of plastic Easter egg shells, enough for each letter of the alphabet. On small pieces of paper, write each letter and put the paper inside an eggshell. Collect all the eggs into a large bowl or bag.
During group time, have one child at a time come up and pick a “lottery letter” from among the eggs. Then have that child write their letter on the chalkboard or dry erase board, and name one word that starts with that letter. If they struggle, let them consult the group for help. Repeat this 4 or 5 times with different children, keeping track of who picks each day so that every child gets their turn. Kids love the process of picking from the pile of eggs, so you may find this becomes a regular group time activity.
Newspaper Letter Searches
Provide each child with a page torn from a newspaper. On index cards, print both capital and lower case letters for your letter of the week. (Be sure to use the font type printed in the paper, not school-style font. This activity is designed to help kids become familiar with the font styles used in printed literature, which are often different from the fonts used in traditional school handwriting.) Set the cards out for the kids to refer to. Give them highlighters, and have them go through the print to find all the “letter A’s” or “letter M’s” they can. Make it a game to see who can find the most, and consider offering a small reward (1 skittle per letter, a penny per letter, etc.) for every one they find.
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Other Alphabet Activities
Use them as table labels
Have a teacher color each one, trim it, and laminate it to your tables with the word for that picture that starts with your letter of the week. Each week you can create new table labels for your new letter to work on emergent literacy.
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