The well-known ABC song is often the first exposure kids have to the letters of the alphabet. They eventually begin to recognize the letters in the environment and in books. Familiarity with the letters of the alphabet helps children on their way to early reading skills, and playing alphabet games adds an entertaining aspect to learning more about the alphabet.
Letter Musical Chairs
The classic childhood game of musical chairs provides the basic concept of this alphabet game suggested on the PreKinders website. A circle of chairs, one for each child, creates the game play area. Each chair needs a letter card on it. The kids walk around the circle while music plays. When the music stops, the kids stop next to a chair to practice that particular letter. One option is to have the children practice writing the letter on a small white board or chalkboard. Another option is to have each child think of a word that starts with the letter on his chair. For this option, go around the circle, giving each child a chance to share his letter. Continue playing by turning the music on and shutting it off so that the children get to practice different letters.
A letter-sorting game helps children become more familiar with the look of the individual letters. Write several letters on individual cards, or use letter tiles. The kids sort the cards into piles with all of the same letters in one pile. For more of a challenge, write some of the letters in lowercase and some as capital letters.
A letter hunt gives children a chance to find letters in print around the room. Each child gets one or more letter cards. She must look around the classroom for signs, posters, bulletin boards and other displays to find an example of the letter. Another option is to make several letter cards with the specific letters that you want to practice. Hide the cards around the classroom. Call out a specific letter for the kids to find.
In addition to recognizing what the letters look like, children need to learn the sounds associated with each letter. To practice the sound-letter connection, gather three or more objects that all start with one letter. For example, you might gather a ball, block and bag for the letter “b.” Hold up each item, and say its name. The kids figure out what letter all of the objects start with. Another option is to simply say three words that all start with the same letter.