Practicing their letters is a skill all children will have to learn to master letter recognition. But what better way, than to practice their letters with a fun and unique alphabet activity? Today I’ll be sharing some great hands-on, sensory-filled ideas for your preschooler and kindergartener to do while learning their alphabet.
Learning the alphabet is a crucial skill for any child
Learning and practicing the letters of the alphabet is very important in your child’s education, and it starts from the very beginning (usually as a preschooler or before) with various alphabet activities for early literacy.
When your child is very young, you begin implementing letter recognition in the form of the alphabet song, which is super beneficial, as we all learn so well from music!
As your child learns their alphabet they will be doing various things to gain letter identification, alphabet recognition, gaining letter knowledge, learning beginning sounds, and so on.
The Benefits of practicing letters for kids
We should provide our children with letter practice at an early age since they are not able to read words. This will help them develop their fine motor skills and prepare them for reading. It will also make it easier for them to learn how to spell words correctly and read sentences with different letter combinations.
The best way to learn the alphabet is by practicing letter formation doing an alphabet activity.
Pssst… download my Free Letter Practice Pack right here!
Of course, practicing letter formation in the form of handwriting is something they will have to do, and need to do, but sometimes it’s fun to switch things up and give your child some hands-on activity practice with their letter. Even better— adding in some fun and unique ways your child can practice their letters is even better!
How to Encourage Your Child to Write Letters?
The way to encourage children to write letters is by providing fun, hands-on ways to practice their letters.
Children are very sensory-driven, so the more they can use their hands, the more exciting it will be for them to practice their alphabet letters.
Hands-on, Scensory Letter Practice Activities for Preschool and Kindergarteners
Letter practice activities are a great way to start letter recognition for young learners. They also help children understand the structure of letters and words.
Step away from always using pencil and paper, or those old-fashioned magnetic letters of the alphabet (that we used as kids).
Get away from always using a dry erase marker on a whiteboard or alphabet mats, and try some fun, sensory-based letter practice ideas.
Here are 9 fun ideas of ways your child can practice writing the letters of the alphabet:
1. Letter Practice in Sand for Kids
This is a really fun letter formation activity.
Fill a shallow dish, or sheet pan with play sand or craft sand, and show your child how to write their letters in the sand. It is helpful to have a flashcard or printout of the letter of the alphabet (use my free alphabet printables found HERE) placed right beside them so they can see the formation of the letter.
This isn’t your typical handwriting exercise, but it will still strengthen their hand and finger muscles as they create the letter with their finger in the sand.
2. Letter Practice in Shaving Cream for Kids
I’ll never forget when I was in public school as a young kid, and our teacher would come over to our desks and spray shaving cream on them for us to write in it with our fingers. This was probably one of the highlights of my schooling each year, as this was such a fun way to practice writing!
Use a shallow dish, sheet pan, or large plate and spray shaving cream on the plate for your child to practice writing their letters in. Be sure to place one of my alphabet flashcards or larger print alphabet letter printables next to your child as they practice.
*Make sure you let your child know they cannot eat it!!
3. Nature-Inspired Letter Practice Ideas for Kids
Take your child on a walk, or let them go in the backyard and tell them to pick some items from nature.
Things like leaves, twigs, rocks, flower heads, etc. all will work!
Once the child has collected their findings, print out the Large Alphabet Printables in my printable pack, and have your child glue their nature findings, inside the letter of the alphabet.
*This idea is not necessary to practice their letter formation, per se, but more so to get familiar with letter recognition.
4. Using Beans For Letter Practice
Place the large Alphabet Letter worksheet in front of your child, and give them a bowl of dried beans.
Have your child use the beans to fill in the letter of the alphabet that they’re practicing. They can glue them if they’d like, or just simply place the beans within the lines of the letter.
This concept is also great for strengthening fine motor skills in your child.
5. Using Rice for Letter Practice for Kids
The same idea as above can be done, OR, you can fill a sheet pan or shallow dish with dried rice and have your child use their finger to trace the letter they are practicing.
6. Newspaper Letter Match for Kids
Give your child a letter (either lowercase or uppercase) and have them go through newspaper ads to find that letter.
Once they find that letter, they can cut it out using scissors and glue it to their matching alphabet paper.
7. Newspaper Alphabetical Order for Kids
Similar to the above, but instead of gluing the letters to the alphabet worksheet, they will begin searching for the letter “A”, cut it out, and place it on the table.
Next, they will look for the letter “B”, cut it out and stick it on the table near the letter “A” to begin building the alphabet.
Continue this until the entire alphabet is completed.
8. Which Letter Comes Next in the Alphabet?
This is a really fun alphabet game and literacy activity!
Choosing one of the methods noted above, have your child ready with their supplies.
Show your child one of the letter alphabet flashcards from my printable pack, and ask them:
“Which letter comes next?”
Have them trace in their shaving cream, sand, cut it out of the newspaper, etc. to create the letter that comes next.
This alphabet recognition game is a fun way for your child can practice their letters this way!
9. Match Game Activity (Matching Capital and Lowercase Letters) for Preschoolers and Kindergarterners
Give your child one of the alphabet flashcard printables (either a capital or a lowercase) and have them draw the letter that matches (either in lowercase or uppercase letter).
Show your child the capital letter “A” flashcard, and have them draw, trace, etc. the lowercase letter “a”.
This is an amazing letter recognition activity, and you can continue with a few letters of the alphabet a day!
While doing any of these 9 learning activities, you can definitely add in a letter sound while teaching or practicing each letter.
There you have it! 9 unique, hands-on, and sensory-filled ways to practice the alphabet with your child!
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WHat’s one cool way you enjoy doing letter practice with your homeschooler?
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