When I began this journey over two years ago, my only goal was to make learning fun for my eldest daughter. She was three at the time, and like most toddlers, had a thirst for knowledge. Unfortunately, also like most toddlers, she had the attention span of a gnat. I wanted to make activities that would engage her longer than 30 seconds at a time, which is why I started Turner Tots. Now, my youngest daughter is three, and she is also so ready to learn. I’ve created tons of themed activities, but nothing that simply teaches the letters of the alphabet. So why not start with the basics? Check out these letter identification activities that will hold your toddler’s attention span longer than 30 seconds!
A Visual Alphabet
Now, two years later, my eldest is reading and in kindergarten. I cannot believe what she has accomplished. My youngest daughter just turned three, and she is so ready to learn.
I started thinking about what she already knows: a few shapes and most of the colors (sorry, brown, you are no ones’ favorite). Then I wondered what it would be like to see these strange shapes that we call letters and start to associate them with something that has no meaning.
Then, it hit me. They are just symbols, just shapes. What do they look like in this vast world that we can associate them with? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if letters just looked like an actual tangible object. And that’s when I realized our toddlers need a visual alphabet to help them easily learn their ABC’s.
ABC It cards not only have a strong visual cue to a familiar object in a toddler’s world, but they are paired with rhymes that illuminate the letter as a shape – perfect for auditory learners. All of the rhymes are combined with actions using the sign language alphabet to add a kinesthetic aspect (as well as keep the attention of our little gnats).
You will be amazed at how fast your little ones will learn the alphabet using these multi-sensory ABC It cards. Tina says, “This has been THE most effective way to teach the alphabet! It’s so creative and this is very definitely my new best publisher!”
Letter Sort Jars
Uppercase & Lowercase Letter Sort
After teaching the shape of both an uppercase and lowercase version of each letter using the ABC It cards, now it’s time to sort!
These Letter Sort Jars are easy to set up – just cut the letter cards off of the bottom of each page. Then, students can sort the letters into the uppercase jar or the lowercase jar.
The letter cards use a variety of fonts to show that letters can look a little different (especially with handwriting), but they are still the same letter.
As my little one sorted these, we made sure to say the letter every time, reinforcing that letter identification. Check out these Letter Sort Jars now!
Spin & Cover
Letter Identification Game
Another way to reinforce both the uppercase and lowercase version of each letter is with a Spin & Cover game. These ocean-themed games are perfect for your little learners. Either use a cookie sheet with a magnetic spinner on top, a transparent spinner, or a loose brad with a paper clip and get spinning! We used blue gems that we found at the Dollar Tree to cover a letter after it was spun. Again, my little one said the letter each time to reinforce letter identification.
Tip: Store the games in page protectors inside a folder with prongs or a binder.
Next up, your preschoolers will love pretending to be detectives and go on a letter hunt with magnifying glasses! Pull out those alphabet books because they usually have large versions of each letter. Then, the kiddos can use the lettered magnifying glasses to hunt for each letter!
Tip: Cut the magnifying glasses out first, including the inner circle. Then, laminate the magnifying glasses, leaving the lamination in the center to give the illusion of glass. So fun!
Perfect way to start seeing the differences in each letter! Plus, who doesn’t love pretending to solve a mystery?
These magnifying glasses are included in the I Spy initial sounds activity – which is such a fantastic way to work on beginning sounds!
Letter Identification Activities
Our last letter identification activity that we did was a Letter Maze: Treasure Hunt! Start at the ship and try to find the letter path to the buried treasure!
We placed blue gems on top, and I really liked that we could see through the gems to see the letters underneath. This was a visual reminder of the letter we were trying to find. Check out these Letter Mazes here!
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MORE Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers
It can be so frustrating when you repeatedly teach the letters of the alphabet, but there are still some kiddos who just can’t seem to remember the names of the letters. But this does not make you a bad teacher. You just need to teach them in a different way – in a way that all learners will be able to get! Because the ABC It cards are multi-sensory, it helps your learners, whether they be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners, to learn the alphabet quickly and easily. Plus, you will have so much fun singing the rhymes and doing the motions with them!
Grab the ABC It cards and all of the letter identification activities, letter formation activities, beginning sound activities, and small group activities for a DISCOUNT! The bundle is 20%, so this is the perfect way to save when setting up your literacy lessons and centers for the year!