Little learners NEED hands-on experiences to truly grasp concepts. Learning the letters of the alphabet is no exception to this rule. In fact, the more hands-on experiences you provide in your preschool or kindergarten classroom, the more your students will learn and retain. In this post, I’m sharing my very favorite hands on alphabet activities for preschool and kindergarten. These activities are tried and true in my own preschool classroom.
Hands-On Alphabet Activities
Once you prep these hands-on alphabet activities, you’ll be able to use them year after year. Your little learners will beg to do these centers year-round. I keep these activities in my writing center. Once they’re set up and explained, students are able to complete them independently.
Several of these activities also incorporate fine motor experiences. Fine motor practice is critical for building pre-writing skills. Incorporating these hands-on alphabet activities in your own preschool or kindergarten classroom will be a key component to your students’ success!
Letter Building Mats
Letter Building Mats are one of my favorite ways to give my students practice forming letters! Each mat shows a capital letter with 4 ways to “create” that letter in a hands-on way: with playdoh, legos, craft sticks, and pattern blocks. Students can also use a dry erase marker to practice tracing the letter.
The repetition of creating the letter 4 times helps students truly master that letter. And, the hands-on materials are fun and engaging. This is a center where you’ll never hear, “I’m bored! ;)” I set this center up using Sterlite drawers. Each drawer is labeled with the material that’s inside, and there’s even a drawer for storing the letter mats. The mats are black and white so they can be printed on colorful paper and then laminated for durability. You can find the letter building mats HERE.
Jumbo Letter Formation Cards
This activity is another class favorite! Who doesn’t love JUMBO things? Simply print these cards on colorful card stock, laminate, and cut apart. I hooked the individual capital and lower-case letter pairs together with a ring clip, put all the cards in a bucket, and added some dry erase markers. Best of all? There are numbered prompts to guide students in correctly forming each letter.
What good is it for children to practice writing letters if they don’t form them in a proper and efficient way? You’ll be amazed how quickly your preschool and kindergarten students will master proper letter formation with this hands on alphabet activity!
This fun activity incorporates fine motor skills as well as letter recognition and letter matching. Students put the alligators together (heads and tails) by matching the capital and lower case letter to each other. This activity is another class favorite that my students return to again and again!
Unwrap the Alphabet
Get a wooden alphabet puzzle and wrap each letter of the alphabet in aluminum foil or gift wrap. Have students unwrap just one letter at a time, name the letter (and the letter sound if you’d like), then place the letter in the puzzle. This will transform a boring old puzzle activity into something new and exciting. You could even have students close their eyes as they open the puzzle piece and try to guess what the letter is based on how it feels. Find more alphabet puzzle ideas on this post.
Wooden Letter Construction Set
This set is perfect for little learners. It comes with a variety of curved and straight pieces that can be put together to create letters and numbers. It’s a traditional Montessori tool, and Montessori is well known for hands-on learning! Can’t you just see your preschool or kindergarten students exploring this letter building center as they experiment with letter formation?
When I realized I would be having 14 boys and 8 girls in my class, I began trying to figure out ways to truly engage my very active little boys! These alphabet roadways were an instant hit. You simply print, laminate, add a few Matchbox cars from the dollar store, and you’re all set! Students “drive” on the letters to form them. No doubt this is a favorite part of our writing center!
This activity will be a class favorite, for sure! This moldable playfoam provides a fun sensory experience. It stays in place when you mold it, making it the perfect way to form letters. The included letter cards guide children in making each letter. Again, your students will never tire of this hands on alphabet activity!
This little game is easy to prep, and the students absolutely LOVE it! Once you print out the letters and frogs on green card stock and laminate them, you’re good to go! I actually found a super cute frog flyswatter at Dollar Tree that I used in place of the printed frogs.
There are three different ways to play, and each way is fun and engaging as students practice identifying capital and lower case letters. (I also included numbers 1-25 for students to practice identifying!) This is a fun small group activity. It’s also perfect to take outside at recess, and you can incorporate gross motor actions with it by letting the kids play real leapfrog! To get this FREE printable, click the image below!
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