Hands On Activities for Teaching the Alphabet

by | May 29, 2015 | Teaching Tips | 1 comment

Teaching kids the alphabet with multisensory activities is not only fun but way more effective. Here are some fun hands on activities for learning the alphabet that we think your kids will love!

Hands On Activities for Learning the Alphabet fb

Teaching kids to read can be fun!  In fact, the more fun your kids have, the quicker they learn.  Begin by helping your kids become aware of letters and sounds by reading frequently.  There is no substitute for a good chunk of reading time everyday.

Sing the alphabet song while cleaning, playing at the park or whenever you can slip it into your day.

When you are ready to begin teaching letter sounds, get a variety of hands on alphabet manipulatives.  I have gathered a few here in this fabulous Amazon Widget.  (These are affiliate links which means I earn a very small percentage of whatever you buy – thanks for supporting this site!)

The Montessori Three Period Lesson is a good framework for teaching letters, sounds and numbers. I have a great appreciation for the Montessori Method because it is heavily hands-on in nature.

Naming Period

Place three letters on a table. I bought a nice set of Montessori letter and number cards here.  Choose one letter (I start with lower case because they are more common in books) and model the process for your child before they begin. Have your child trace the letter with their index and middle fingers while making the letter sound.

This is /s/
This is /m/
This is /a/

In the naming period, I like to keep flash cards with the letters we’re working on around our school area and will occasionally and casually point out the cards and say “that is /s/, /m/ or /a/”.

Recognition and Association Period

Eventually you can move to the recognition and association period.  Place the letter tiles your child is learning on the table and ask,

Show me /s/.
Where is /m/?
Can you find /a/?
Put the /s/ in your hand.
Hand me the /s/.

I ask our kids to trace them throughout this period if I feel they need more practice.  Many sandpaper letters have arrows instructing the child where to start tracing and in which direction to trace.  Pay attention to this.  Definitely don’t want to start any bad habits here.

Recall Period

Place the objects, or sandpaper letters, in front of your child. This testing phase should only be used when you know your child knows the sounds fairly confidently.

What is this?

Repeat this sequence for each letter, using lowercase sandpaper cards, until you are done with the alphabet – then add the upper case cards.

In What Order Should Sounds be Taught?

It really doesn’t matter in which order you teach the letter sounds.  Starting by learning the letters of the child’s name grabs their attention and makes their learning meaningful.

If you are working with a reading program such as our favorite,  All About Reading, you can simply follow their lead and use their sequence.  Most dyslexic kids will benefit from added hands on practice.

Teaching kids the alphabet with multisensory activities is not only fun but way more effective. Here are some fun hands-on activities for learning the alphabet that we think your kids will love!

Hands On Activities for Teaching the Alphabet

Letter Hunt Sensory Bin  from Gift of Curiosity

Letter Sounds Ice Sensory Play from Little Bins for Little Hands

Playful Ways to Learn With Montessori Alphabet Box from Stir the Wonder

I Spy Sensory Bags for Letters  from Hands On As We Grow

Alphabet Monster Game from Little Family Fun

ABC Letter Stack Game from Stay at Home Educator

Trash Can Alphabet Review from Motherhood on a Dime

Fishing for Letters from First Palette

Watering and Alphabet Garden from Toddler Approved

Alphabet Running Game from Frugal Fun For Boys

Teach the Alphabet With Dough from Nurture Store

15 Activities With an Alphabet Puzzle Mat from Learners in Bloom

Multisensory Activities for Learning Letters from Octavia and Vicky

Noisy Letter Jump Phonics Game from The Imagination Tree

Driveway ABC Game from Creative Family Fun

Letter Sounds Race from Inspiration Laboratories

Alphabet Soup from Playdough to Plato

Sorting Baskets Phonics Activity from The Imagination Tree

Alphabet Fun Using Magnetic Letters from Fun-A-Day!

ABC Slam from Toddler Approved

I hope this post full of ideas will spark your mind to think of creative ways to learn in your home!

For more teaching tips and resources follow me on Pinterest.


1 Comment


  1. 21 Things That You Can Teach Your 3 Year Old - Teaching Littles - […] Use different sensory modalities to trace, write, or copy their letters. For example, writing them in sand, placing stickers…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *