It doesn’t have to boring, repetitive, and all about worksheets in order to learn the alphabet.
Older toddlers and preschoolers are soaking up all this information about letters and want to learn them! But they rarely want to sit and learn anything. So why not get them up and moving and learning the alphabet without even realizing that they are!
Active ways to learn are my favorite!
10 of my favorite active ways to learn the alphabet:
1. Use the ABC Floor Mat
If you have one of those ABC floor mats, use it to learn! (If you don’t have a mat, here’s an affiliate link)
Make a game out of it, or just call our letters for them to find and put it in alphabetical order. I often put the outside part of the puzzle pieces together and call to George to find the letters to fill them in. It helps him recognize the letters and plus matching them up reinforces the letter names to what they look like.
Henry and I played this letter activity with the ABC mat and letter blocks too! It was a fun charades game with learning letters and counting!
2. Add letters to blocks
Just playing with blocks, whether its wooden blocks, Legos, Mega Blocks, kids can use this technique to learn letters. I taped letters on the blocks!
I printed out letters that we were working on, several of each, and some that George didn’t know yet. Just playing with them gets kids recognizing the letters. Use the letters in conversation when building.
But you can take it a step further, click here to see how we added a little more learning to the process with an extra set of ‘letters’.
3. Make it a hunt
Making anything into a scavenger hunt is always fun for the kids.
Add a little letter learning to it by hiding letters around the house for them to find. Have a list of letters for them to find and check off.
Or make it on a big paper for them to come back and match the letters up to. Click here to see how we did our letter scavenger hunt.
This can also be done for numbers or shapes, anything that you have the objects for.
4. Create a maze of letters
Making mazes is actually quite easy with some painter’s tape on the floor. First start at the beginning and make turns back and forth to the finish. Then add in more turns that don’t go anywhere.
Add letters to the maze for the kids to follow through the maze to find their way to the finish.
We’ve done this maze with alphabetical order (A to B to C all the way to Z) as well as following a single letter all the way through the maze (B to B to B) and the wrong turns are wrong letters (D doesn’t come after A, uh-oh, go back and start again. Or, oops, that’s not a B, that’s a G).
5. Turn that into a string maze scavenger hunt
Put the two together, the maze and a scavenger hunt. My kids love ‘string’ scavenger hunts. Where I string up yarn around a room, or between a ‘hallway’ of dining room chairs.
Clip letters onto the string for them to ‘find’ on their way through the maze. We did it with lowercase letters matching to uppercase letters when they got through the maze. But just calling out the letters as they find them works too!
6. Big letter learning on the sidewalk
Sidewalk chalk is always a hit! Writing letters on the driveway is a fun way to learn them.
Write pairs of letters, either the same (uppercase or lowercase) or both, and have them match them up by drawing a line between the two. Its a great way for preschooler to recognize the letters.
Add to it by talking about what letters they’re connecting, or asking what letter they’re trying to find the match for. Using the names of the letters in conversation will reinforce what they’re learning.
7. Connect the dots, I mean letters
If a large sidewalk or driveway is not available, you can do the same letter learning indoors on a roll of art paper (or butcher paper).
Not only is this helping preschooler learn the alphabet, but its also working on their writing skills. Holding the marker, or pencil, properly.
This can also be done by matching shapes or numbers (or work on counting by matching a number to a group of dots).
8. SWAT the letters!
What kid wouldn’t love swatting something? Give them a fly swatter and just watch.
Now add a large piece of paper with some letters on it and call out letters for them to swat. That’s it! How fun! Or turn it around and let them tell you what letters they swatted.
9. Throw a ball
Grab one of the many balls that you probably have rolling around the house or garage. Take this outside.
Throw or roll the ball back and forth practicing letter sounds or beginning letters. Or just calling out letters! Just for fun.
I’ve seen this done with letters written on the ball too. Kids can then call out the letter they see on the ball when they catch it and pass it back.
10. Make it a race
Use all those letter magnets that I’m sure you have (if you don’t, here’s an affiliate link) on the fridge to create a race!
Shout for them to run and grab the letter ‘B’ and race back to give it to you or put it in a basket. And repeat with another letter.
Great for recognition and fun because my kids love anything that’s a race! You can also advance this by using letter sounds or beginning letters (Run and grab the letter that BOX starts with).
More ways to learn the alphabet, active or not, it can still be fun:
- Make paper chain letters
- Magic letters
- Find the letter on the apple on PBS Parents
- 50 activities for preschoolers to learn their ABCs
That’s just the tip of some fun ways to get active while learning.
Many of our move and learn activities can be used to help preschooler learn the alphabet as well.
More move and learn ideas: