Learning The Alphabet - 20 Simple Hands-On Activities to Try

Twenty fun hands-on ways to learn the alphabet at preschool, kindergarten or at home.

At preschool and kindergarten, learning about the alphabet - being able to recognise letters and the sounds they make should be fun, engaging and hands-on for this age group particularly. 

Preschoolers don't need flash cards or worksheets to help them learn letters but they do need to be exposed to a varied vocabulary and print from an early age so they grow up appreciating how valuable language is for communicating effectively with others.

Children need to learn both letter recognition and the sounds the letters make. Many of these playful alphabet activities are suitable for small group or independent work at school or can be tried at home. 


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Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey
These initial sounds alphabet mats help children to practice differentiating between beginning letter sounds in words.

Print, laminate (if you want) and add some counters to mark the words that start with the letter.

Alternatively, add some play dough so children can make the letter as well as search for the correct sounding words. 

Want these alphabet mats for your classroom? You can find them here.


Car crazy kids? Try these alphabet car parking mats to get them looking at letters.

Add either lower case letters to match 1:1 or add upper case letters to the cars to change the task. You can download these car park mats from here.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

You can create your own resources simply and cheaply. 

I made these letter rocks years ago with a permanent marker and they've been a hit every time we use them in class.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Magnetic letters are a must have resource in the Early Years. We use them frequently in class and we have another set at home.

Here we paired them with these initial sound match cards. You can find these printable cards here.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

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I finally got around to making my own set of letters and numbers to play SPLAT with. 

Originally I used our Jolly Phonics sight word flowers but there's just something extra fun about splatting giant flies! I've made a set of upper case and lower case letters along with numbers from 1-20 for my class. 

You can grab our Fly Swat cards FREE from here.
Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Use your Duplo blocks to create this upper and lower case letter matching activity. 

Once children have matched all the letters, they can work together to put them in alphabetical order too.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

These initial sounds cards are great starter for children learning letter sounds. 

With only four objects to choose between, you can more easily eliminate the incorrect sounds. You can find these cards here.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Game play is always popular with my students. They loved trying to find their way through these beginning letter sound mazes which are a little more challenging!

They're a fun way to help reinforce initial sounds either in literacy centres or work stations.You can find these mazes mats here.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey




One letter sorting best saved for a warmer day, this invitation to sort letters was perfect for some of the sensory seekers in my class.

To play, just add some alphabet threading beads to a shallow tub of water and then use either large slotted spoons or a plastic cup with holes in the bottom to catch the letters before sorting them.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Maybe it's their shape but these letter match wheels from Confessions of a Homeschooler have been part of our literacy centre rotations for five years now.

Withe three different types, they make differentiation easier within each group.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Different fonts can sometimes confuse young learners as they can change the shape of some letters quite dramatically

To work on this, I created this simple printable using various fonts for children to sort the letters. 

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Sorting letters is an easy way to practice letter recognition and visual discrimination skills.

Do it with just lower case letters or mix upper and lower case letter together to sort.

Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Our Say It, Make It, Write It Mats have been used so many ways in our classroom.


Here we used an old Leapfrog toy from home to hear and then make and write the letter. You can download your copy of our Say It, Make It, Write It mats from here.


Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

Some other fun ideas we've used from around the web -


Learning The Alphabet - 20 Different Simple Hands-On Activities To Try At School or At Home | you clever monkey

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