When I first taught the letters to my oldest daughter, we focused on the letter names. That’s what preschoolers are supposed to learn, right? Well, I’ve come to realize that letter names really don’t matter. When it comes to reading, we only need letter sounds, which is why I think teaching letter sounds is actually MORE important than letter names. So, yeah, it’s great to learn the letter names, but my focus with my youngest daughter will definitely be letter sounds. Here are a few letter sound activities that pair with our alphabet unit.
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Beginning Sounds Cards
Whether you are a preschool teacher or a parent of a toddler, you know what it’s like walking around saying letter sounds over and over. “Yes, sweetie, you went down the slide. /s/, /s/, slide.”
It’s because we know how dang important those beginning sounds are!
So instead of us sounding silly over and over again, why not have our little ones say it themselves? The more they do and say, the more they learn, anyway.
Just read these cards by saying, “/p/, /p/, pig. /p/, /p/, Pp!” The dots underneath each letter encourage our little learners to read from left to right – such an important skill when reading books like during Shared Reading for small groups.
These Sound Cards are print-and-go and such an easy activity to do every day to reinforce those letter sounds. Check them out by clicking the button below!
Tip: Just keep the cards together as a whole page and slide into page protectors. Store in a binder or a folder with prongs.
Sound Clip Cards
Identifying Initial Sounds
After our little learners have a solid foundation of letter sounds, these Sound Clip Cards can help reinforce those skills by determining which pictures start with the letter in the center of each card.
Just like we say with our Sound Cards, I use the same pattern to “test” each word with my little ones. For example, “/f/, /f/, frog. /f/, /f/, Ff! Yes, frog starts with Ff!” Then, they can use a clothespin to get those fine motor skills working and mark the pictures that start with the letter shown.
After practicing a Sound Clip Card with a teacher several times, you can have your little learners try it on their own to build up that independence.
This letter sound activity can be used during small groups and then set out in literacy centers for students to practice independently.
Initial Sound Activities
This next initial sound activity is a product of love… and hate… and more love. I spent over forty hours making these and just about lost my mind. But in the end, it was totally worth it because playing “I Spy” is so thrilling!
To play, first set the mood. I gave my little one a magnifying glass and told her she was a detective on a mission. She needed to find the pictures that matched the clue (the letter) in the middle of the page. Then, I said, “Hmm, I spy something beginning with Dd – /d/, /d/….” And I continued to say the sound until we found a picture that started with that sound. We found several pictures that matched the letter and bingo! Mystery solved!
This I Spy activity also comes with lettered magnifying glasses used during our book letter hunts that you can check out here. Great for small groups and then independent centers! Save forty hours of your life by clicking below!
Sound Sort Houses
Distinguishing Beginning Sounds
Next up, we have Sound Sort Houses. These come in both color and black & white so that your little ones can practice their coloring, cutting, and gluing skills. Use the colored version during small groups to teach first before having them complete the activity independently.
All you do is sort the pictures based on whether or not they start with the letter pictured on the houses. Just another way to practice those initial sounds!
Last, I made these fluency strips to practice more letter identification and sound identification. Just touch the dot and say the letter or the sound for that extra practice!
Each card includes 3 letters that were just taught along with the 3 different letters that were taught in the previous days.
And the best part: they are FREE! Go grab yours now!
Tip: Use binder rings to keep these strips organized.
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MORE Alphabet Activities for Preschoolers
I hope that you and your little ones can enjoy these letter sound activities and that they will be helpful as you endeavor to teach the ABC’s.
Check out more alphabet activities by clicking the links above, or if you’re ready to save yourself tons of time with ready-made alphabet activities, grab the entire bundle for 20% off!
As always, let me know if you need anything! I love hearing your ideas and making these resources better for your classroom!