Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title

Letter Recognition and Sound Practice

Flags: flexpage,

Making Learning the Letters of the Alphabet Fun…

Below are different practice ideas to help children learn and recognize the letters of the alphabet.  I’ve included many so you can pick and choose something that you and your child might enjoy doing together.

Thanks for your home support,

Gina Booth

I.S.T. Teacher, Hillcrest Elementary


     Website Links…  (A link to a Scramble Alphabet Game)   (A link to a great website with various games and activities for practicing the letters and sounds of the alphabet)

    Games/Activities to Make, Create and Explore…

Association Games

o    Association games are great activities to play with your child around the house, in the car, or whenever you are on the go. Teach your child the ABC's by teaching them words that are associated with each of the letters of the alphabet. For example, if you are teaching the letter "A," ask her different questions such as: Can you name something in this room that begins with the letter "A"? Or hold up an apple and ask, "What letter does this apple start with?" Once you've worked on "A," move to "B" and continue with the rest of the alphabet. A great way to organize when to do which letter is to have a letter of the day. If the letter of the day is "D" spend the entire day looking for associations. Make sure to praise your child when they get questions right, or keep track of how many correct associations she gets throughout the day so she can see how much she is improving.



Songs and Activities

o    Making learning the ABC's fun doesn't mean you have to play an actual game. There are other fun things such as activities and songs that can help children learn the ABC's as well. For example, if you and your child are going to be making cookies, use an alphabet cookie cutter so that the cookies are baked into the shapes of letters of the alphabet. Work with your child on what each letter is as you make the cookies. You can also sing the alphabet song; it is a very traditional form of learning the ABC's, but is a great time honored learning tool. Start the morning off with the ABC song, or sing your child the ABC song while he brushes his teeth in the morning. Many times kids will stay more focused on the song, because they don't like to brush their teeth. This will also help ensure your child is brushing his teeth long enough each morning.

Board Games

o    Common board games such as "Go Fish" and bingo can be used with letters of the alphabet to help get your child acquainted with the letters. Create a bingo sheet using letters of the alphabet instead of numbers. Call out a letter or hold up a flashcard with the letter on it, and have the child mark off that letter on the sheet. He can shout "Bingo!" out when all of the letters on the card are complete or he has four in a row. This is a great game to have your child play while you are cooking dinner or doing another chore. The popular children's game "Go Fish" can also be played with alphabet letters. Create your own cards from notecards that have letters on them instead of numbers. Play the game that way so that children are more exposed to each letter of the alphabet.

Create a Book

o    You and your child can create an alphabet book together. This is not only a fun arts and craft activity for you and your child to bond over, but it will also help them learn the alphabet. Purchase a blank paper book or journal, or staple together your own pieces of blank paper. Make each page dedicated to each letter of the alphabet. Write the lower and uppercase version of each letter on the page, and put items that represent that letter on the page as well. For example, if you are working on the "A" page, draw or cut out pictures from magazines of simple words that begin with "A" such as ant, apple or arm. Do this for every page in the book. Try to make the book colorful and eye-catching with bright colors and glitter, so your child is more inclined to pay attention as you read it over and over again.


Shape letter sculptures: One of the best ways to practice making letters is to sculpt them. Use this simple recipe to create dough that is easy to shape into letters. When it is refrigerated, it will set into delicious peanut butter kisses. With clean hands, have your child mix and knead together 1 cup smooth peanut butter, 1 cup dry (powdered) milk and ½ cup honey. Once the dough is smooth and pliable your child can sculpt letters and words. Try decorating with chocolate chips, and sprinkles and serving at an ABC tea party!

Cook dough letters: Another great dough to use for letter sculpting is breadstick or soft pretzel dough. Find uncooked dough in the freezer department at your grocery store. Defrost and follow directions for shaping and baking — except make letters instead of sticks and twists.

Sort spices: Using the alphabet printed on a strip of paper, have your child organize your spices in alphabetical order. Ask her to create a spice alphabet train. Then transfer the "train" to your spice shelf. Next time you need something, your child can find it for you just by finding the matching letter. Notice the spices you haven't used lately and find a recipe to use it in. What can we do with cloves? Plug the ingredient into a recipe search engine for a new idea and cook it together!

Make letter-shaped sandwiches: Invite your child to make the letters with a sandwich. Spread two slices of bread with cream cheese and jelly. Then carefully use a cookie cutter to cut out the letter shapes. Your child can make his (or your!) initials with the letter sandwiches. Or if he is really hungry, he can make his entire name!

Use ABC cookie cutters: Your child can also use the ABC cookie cutters to cut letters, initials and words out of gelatin blocks! Make an "Initial Salad." Ask your child to help you make gelatin blocks (recipe on box). When set, have her cut the first letter for each family member's name and place on a leaf of lettuce. Make place cards for everyone. At dinnertime have her match the gelatin letter salad to each name as she sets the table. Ask her for more ideas: "What else can we cut with alphabet cookie cutters? How about cheese slices?"

Practice with pudding: Children need to practice writing letters with big fluid lines. Put a dollop of pudding on a large plate or tray and invite your child to use clean fingers to practice making her letters. Clean-up is delicious!

Make egg-yolk paint: Mix 1 egg yolk with ¼ teaspoon water and lots of food coloring. Use a paintbrush to paint letters and words on freshly baked cookies. Return cookies to oven until egg has solidified. This also works well on toast.

Form letters with food: Try using veggie sticks, potato sticks and/or pretzel pieces to make letters. Your child can use the pieces as is or bite them into shape. The traditional curve shaped pretzels (like a knot) are perfect because their lines and curves are similar to lower case letters. Prompt your child: "How can you bite off part of the pretzel to make a 'b'?" Remember to have your alphabet chart around for reference.

Create a word pizza. Gather up your favorite ingredients — shredded cheese, pepperoni, zucchini (sliced), red and/or green pepper (cut in sticks), etc. Using your favorite sauce, top a prepared pizza crust with the cheese and invite your child to create letters using the vegetables and meat. Bake according to label directions. What to spell? Your child's name or the word pizza!

Serve alphabet noodle soup: Follow package instructions to make delicious vegetable soup with alphabet noodles. While preparing, have your child go on a letter treasure hunt, looking through the dry noodles for the letters in her name. You might want to add a magnifying glass to the fun because the uncooked letters are very small. At the table, invite everyone in the family to go on a letter hunt in his own bowl. What letters can they find?

Play "B" is for biscuit: Focus your child on the sight and sound of a particular letter by providing a simple and fun cooking project. For "B" make homemade butter and biscuits. To make homemade butter . . . fill an unbreakable container with heavy cream. Cover tightly and shake, shake, shake until the cream turns to butter! To make quick biscuits, mix together 2-cups of self-rising flour and 2 Tablespoons sugar. Add 1-cup milk and 1/3 cup mayonnaise. Drop mixture by spoonfuls into a muffin tin lined with paper baking cups. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Write your name with alphabet cereal: Make frosted cupcakes or spread graham crackers with frosting, then use alphabet cereal to label them with names. Use these as edible place cards at a birthday party or family gathering.

Sort animal crackers: Using a printed alphabet or cards, ask your child to sort animal crackers by their beginning letter sound. Say the name of the animal together ("bear") and then find the letter! Ask: "Which letter did you find the most for?"

Write on your food: An ingenious invention, FooDoodlers are markers filled with edible ink. What child wouldn't want to write before she eats



Make up a silly fruit story: Language and storytelling are an important part of learning to read. What would happen if fruits were characters in a story? Place some fresh fruits in a basket or market bag to create a pass-around story for dessert. Start by taking a piece of fruit and saying, "Once upon a time there was a happy little apple who was walking through the forest looking for his friends. As he turned a corner he saw his friend…" At this point pass the fruit basket to the next person at the table so he can continue the story using the fruit he chooses. Continue the story back to the first narrator and create a "happily ever after ending."

Go shopping: Next time you are making your shopping list from a grocery story circular invite your child to make his own list. He can cut out the foods he wants and paste them on a sheet of paper. Invite him to write the first letter of each food he wants to help you buy. Take the grocery-shopping list to the supermarket, encouraging your child to try to find the food items on his list. As he sees the relationship between the written list and the real objects, your child is making an important letter/sound connection and also experiencing the usefulness of reading.