how to teach the alphabet through play

How To Teach The Alphabet Through Play: Making It Fun!

How To Teach The Alphabet Through Play: Making It Fun!

We all know that reading to your kids is super important for getting them started in the journey to reading and writing. But there are also some other ways we can get them started in the play room that are fun and interactive and get them ready for preschool and kindergarten, such as engaging in alphabet activities and reading alphabet books. Here are some fun play based activity ideas to get kids starting with early reading readiness.

Letter Recognition Matching games:

Learning to identify the shapes in the letters and numbers by sight and match them together. You can use my Alphabet Playmats which come with wooden disks which the kids can then match. It all stows away in the pocket for easy clean up. I have an Uppercase Play Mat (below) and a Lowercase Letters Play mat

alphabet matching game


Other matching games we recommend are:

Ice Cream Mini Scoop Match.  

ice cream scoop match game

 Alphabet Bingo Game


alphabet bingo game

ABC Tracing Games:

Learning to trace the shapes of the letters can help to form the muscle memory they will later rely on for writing. By tracing the letters in a fun way such as driving cars around the letters will also help to create the sense of fun and playfulness around learning.

My instant download road trace letters and numbers worksheets are a great way to bring some fun road and car play into the homeschool. There is also a hard copy ABC Workbook here.


road trace alphabet

Use other things to form letters and numbers like road tape etc. Form the letters or numbers with toys from your play room. Or make them using household utensils. Think big! Making giant letters is really fun. 

road tape giant letters

Using letter-shaped cookie cutters to make snacks and meals in the shape of letters can make mealtime fun and educational for kids.

Additionally, incorporating letter cards and tactile letter cards can enhance the learning experience by engaging multiple senses. Having a set of fridge magnetic letters is also a fun way to have young kids engage with letter recognition every day. Make a 'Letter of the Day' on the fridge and have the kids sound out words that start with this letter all day and speed them on the fridge.

Letter magnets are also great for making an 'alphabet soup' and having the kids pull out different letters to spell their name or other words from everyday life.


How to Incorporate Letter Sounds

Recognizing and understanding that letters are different from each other and that they have names, and that certain sounds are associated with each letter is important. Using alphabet songs as a fun and engaging way to introduce kids to letter sounds can be very effective.

By reading aloud and focusing on words during day to day life we can start kids recognizing the sounds associated with each letter. For example when having breakfast talk about what you are eating and articulate the sound of each food and which letter it starts with.

My alphabet play mats also come with sound pictures to match to the letter play mat. 

montessori alphabet toy


Here are some other toys that include sound pictures for alphabet learning:

Hot Dots Flash Card Set

hot dots game


Melissa and Doug Sound Match

melissa and doug flash card set


Take Learning Out Of The Home

Incorporate letter play when you are outside. Alphabet recognition and recognizing letters are fundamental parts of early learning. For example, use a stick to make the letters in the sand or mud. Form them using sticks or leaves outside.

Play eye spy games to start kids thinking about which letter words start with. This is a great road trip game with little ones.

Why is it important to start to recognize letters early?

Recognizing and understanding that letters are different from each other and that they have names, and that certain sounds are associated with each letter. Learning the letters in their names can help children compare them to other letters and recognize when they are the same letter.

Get creative and incorporate letters into art play too. For example use the words on coloring pages. Or create giant letters to color  and paint. Use my giant coloring page to spell all the things included on the page: Car, Train, Farm, Pig etc. 

These alphabet stamps are a fun way to incorporate alphabet letters into craft projects:


alphabet stamp



Should I start early learners with lowercase or uppercase letters?

There are many different theories and pros and cons for deciding which to teach first. Teaching the alphabet in a way that is fun and exciting for the kids to learn is the most important thing. A comprehensive approach should include all the letters and engaging letter recognition activities. Focusing on the letters that come up first for them in their lives should take priority. For example what letters comprise their name? This would be a great starting point. The first letter would be a capital followed by lowercase letters.

Next pick words that you know will keep them captivated and wanting to learn more. Do they love cars then maybe these letters or dogs. Take a fluid approach and adapt as you go along. Maybe they have a favorite book so spell out the protagonist’s name or a favorite sports team. Mixing uppercase and lowercase letters this way will teach them together in a way that make sense.

Teach The Alphabet Through Play

Kids learn through repeated exposure and incorporating letters in fun ways that don't even feel like learning is the best way to start young learners on a path to success. In using the alphabet throughout your day in fun activities will get kids ready for preschool or kindergarten.

Make sure you shop our great collection of alphabet learning toys:

alphabet learning toys


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Traveling With Toddlers

So handmade range of travel toys are ideal companions for your travels, dining outings, or visits to Grandma's house.

Active toddlers and preschoolers often have abundant energy to expend while waiting at restaurants, during flights, or car rides. Being on the move shouldn't hinder their enjoyment of imaginative play!

The idea is straightforward: provide children with tangible toys suitable for play anywhere, ensuring they're portable and easy to manage.

Offering handmade toys as an option empowers kids to unleash their creativity, filling in colors and sounds against the canvas of a simple roadmap.