Sometimes the simplest activities are the ones that appeal to preschoolers the most. This early literacy activity is one that we turn to over and over again because it’s always such a hit and it does a great job teaching letter recognition in a hands-on way.
A while back I made a laminated alphabet, with each letter taking up a full 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Once my kids have mastered writing their own name using the laminated name tag we move onto learning how to write the rest of the letters of the alphabet and the laminated letters are perfect for this because they can be used in so many different ways.
To make your own laminated alphabet, you just need to find a font that works for your kids. I have a few font recommendations here but feel free to use any font that you like. Type out the alphabet in a word processing program giving each letter it’s own line, then increase the font until each letter is large enough that it takes up the full page (Watch out for wider letters like “w”. You may need to decrease the font for wider letters individually).
You can buy a decent laminator for under $30. I don’t have one so I just took my stack of papers to a school supply store and they laminated it all for me for only a few dollars.
I have all boys — very active boys — and I’ve found that sensory activities are a great way to not only help them understand a concept but sensory activities also do wonders for calming my kids down when they’re wound up. This activity teaches letter recognition and also helps preschoolers practice small motor skills.
We frequently pull out this early literacy activity for my nearly 4 year old during our homeschooling day because it keeps him occupied while the older boys work on other subjects.
- Laminated letters (or you can print one letter on a page and slide each page into a clear sheet protector)
- Play Dough (for a fun holiday twist try our gingerbread play dough recipe)
- Show your toddler or preschooler how to make snakes from the dough.
- Place the rolled dough on top of the lines in order to form the letter.
- Repeat with each letter of the alphabet.
- As your preschooler masters this activity, you can add in the lowercase letters, numbers, or talk about the proper place to start when forming each letter.
- Put your laminated alphabet on a ring so it’s more portable and turn it into the perfect travel activity by swapping out the play dough for Wikki Stix (they don’t get ground into fabric and carpets the way dough does).