Learning The Alphabet: Hands On Activities and Projects For Learning The Alphabet For Preschoolers

Learning The Alphabet

Our little one has been able to identify her letters for a while now, but this summer, I wanted to start to get her more familiar them. We have been working hard to learn about all of the letters of the alphabet, their sounds, both lower and uppercase identification, and to find objects that start with each letter. Rather than just singing the alphabet and coloring a letter specific worksheet, we decided to give LC a more hands on approach. For each specific letter, we found opportunities to teach her about a wide variety of animals, foods, and objects! We did do the traditional activities, like finger tracing the letter, but we also tried to go a step further and take advantage of every learning opportunity. We hope that you enjoy these activities and that they inspire you to take your lessons one step further.

Be sure to check out our Etsy shop for homemade educational supplies! Our shop has supplies for hands on activities, sensory bin kits that feature all sorts of fills, a wonderful book that correlates with the kit’s theme, and project ideas, and so much more ! Click the link below:

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There are plenty of activities and projects you can choose from to do with your little ones to help them become familiar and learn the letters of the alphabet. Aside from singing the ABCs and playing with educational video games on a gaming system, there are hands on, fun activities that you can incorporate into your learning time.

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Here is a list of our favorite whole letter activities:

Sensory Box Scavenger Hunt –

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Around here, we are all about sensory activities! Over the summer, my father built an amazing two sided sensory bin table for LC and we’ve played with it almost every single day! Sensory activities have numerous benefits and provide an opportunity for children to do some hands on exploring. Sensory bin activities are amazing because it allows for a sensory activity to be done in a contained area and make clean up a breeze. Just put a top on and store for later!

For this whole alphabet activity, just add rice, some other manipulatives, such as pom poms, large jewels, or buttons, and a set of alphabet magnets. You can choose to either let them explore all on their own, or you can add alphabet cards as prompts for what letters to find.

Alphabet Soup – 

We received this alphabet set for Christmas last year and it has been so much fun for our to explore in. Each letter of the alphabet is represented with a “can”. Each can features a real-life photographic image of something that begins with that specific letter. The back of each of these cards also features the name of that something. This set has been great all on it’s own, but it can also be used with various other elements, such as a sensory bin. The kit comes from Learning Resources, but we recommend looking for it on Walmart’s website or from Amazon! 🙂

Rainbow Sand Writing –

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Using a cookie tray, sand, alphabet cards, and a piece of rainbow scrapbooking paper, we created this fun activity for LC to start using. While we don’t expect our two year old to master writing just yet, you have to start somewhere! This sand writing activity is a great way to familiar your kids with letter work, how each letter is constructed, and just work with letters in general. The rainbow paper just makes it more inviting and colorful!

Magnetic Board –

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Go to your local dollar store and pick up a few cookie trays. You’re welcome! These trays have been so awesome in our play area and we’ve been using them in various ways. As you can see, we nailed a few to our play area walls. They are great for displaying artwork, but we have been using them mostly for our magnetic letter work. We use a version of this activity in our Kindergarten classroom with a ring of note cards that features our sight words that we are currently working with.

This is a great way to help familiarize children with the letters of the alphabet, begin to construct words, and work on their knowledge of phonics. Recently, we’ve been using the ” letter hunt ” sensory bin in conjunction with these magnetic boards. LC loves building her name and we are so happy that she is starting to be able to make and identify her name!

Playdough Letter Building –

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Playdough activities are fantastic for focusing on fine motor skills! Using playdough and a set of alphabet cards, we’ve been working on creating each letter. We’ve started with the simple letters, such as A,C,E,F, and L. LC is all about playdough play, so this was a great invitation to play!




Click on each letter unit image below and you will be directed to that letter’s activities and project ideas. Enjoy ! 

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Features: Learning about Apple Farms, Homemade Applesauce, Painting With Apples, and A For Alligator Letter Sheet. Links for our resources.

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Features: Some Bugs ( Bug Unit ), Button Sensory Activity, and Bunny Mask. Links to our resources.

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Features: Homemade Heart Crayons, Exploring Colors With Font, Sorting Activities, and Colorful Cat Dolls. Links to our resources.

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Features: Dino Hunt Sensory Bin, Making Dino Chocolate, Taking Care Of Our Dogs, and Duck Pond Counting Activity. Links to our resources.

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Features: Colorful Eggs, Egg Basket Activity Chart, Elmer The Elephant, and Elmo Busy Bag. Links to our resources.

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Features: Exploring Our Ocean Unit, Painting Flowers With Potatoes, Paper Plate Flowers, and Brown Bag Frog. Links to our resources.

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Features: Gingerbread Man, Homemade Grape Pops, Letter G Grape Vine, Goldilocks Scavenger Hunt, and Goldilocks and The Three Bears Coloring Sheet. Links to our resources.

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Features: Building Houses With Shapes, Building Blocks, Letter H Happiness Sheet, Heart Scavenger Hunt, and Chat and Draw Happiness Activity. Links to our resources.

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Features: Homemade Ice Cream, Painting With Ice, and Moving Iguanas. Links to our resources.

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Features: Jell-O Sensory Bin, Jellyfish Sun Catchers, Exploring Our Ocean Unit, and Paper Plate Jaguar Mask. Links to our resources.

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Features: Coloring Sheets, Traditional K For Kite Activity, Exploring The World of Kangaroos, Painting A Kiwi, and Kiwi Smoothies. Links to our resources.

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Features: Painting Lions, Lion Masks, Paper Plate Ladybug, Lemon Cookies, Painting With Lemons, and ” Some Bugs ” Book Unit. Link to our resources.

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Features: Marshmallow Blooms Cupcakes, Moon Drawings, Marshmallow Poppers, Marshmallow Sensory Bin, Pressed Monsters, Melted Monster Sensory Bin, and Exploring The Moon Sensory Bin. Links to our resources.

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Features: ” Little Owl’s Night ” Book Unit, Nesting Bags, Paper Plate Nests, Edible Necklaces, and Coloring Sheets. Links to our resources.

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Features: Painting With Oranges, Felt Ostrich Busy Bag, O is for Ostrich, Homemade Orange Juice, Butterfly Necklaces, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Homemade Playdough, Playdough Letter Building, Homemade Pizza Night, Felt Pizza Busy Bag, P is for Parrot, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Painting With Q-Tips, Q For Quails, Science Center Explorations, Links To Other Blogs Letter Posts, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Rainbow Writing, Rain Sticks, Rain Sensory Bin, Rain Cloud Jar, Painting Rhinos, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Galaxy Jars, Rocket Ship Name Building, Super Simple Paper Plate Seahorses, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Seasons in Tree, Paper Plate Turtles, How Many Teeth Counting Game, Healthy Teeth/ Healthy Self, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Umbrella Number Match, Shape Unicorn, Coloring Sheets, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Colorful Volcanoes ( Science Experiment For All Ages ), Traditional V for Violin Activity, Veggie Felt Garden, and more! Links to our resources.

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Features: Whale Coloring Sheets, Tissue Paper Watermelon, Free Weather Chart Printables, and More ! Links to our resources.
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Features: Watercolor X-Rays, Free X-Ray Printables, Water Xylophone, and more! Links to our resources!

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Features: Self Portraits, Lacing Cards, Preschool Questionnaire, Yellow Sensory Bin, and more! Links to our resources !

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Features: Zucchini Muffins, Z is for Zebra, Zipper Boards, and more! Links to our resources !

 

That wraps up our letter exploration units! We’ve been working on these units for months now and we’ve had so much fun together. We’ve done a million different projects, painting with various objects, introduced to phonics concepts, learned all about different kinds of animals, fruits, instruments, and other concepts. This activities have given us something to do together every night and our little one has looked forward to these nightly activities. We hope that these letter units have inspired you and hope that you’ll find some activity or project to do with your family! Enjoy 🙂

Brittany XOXO

Looking for handmade sensory bin supplies? Check out our Etsy shop for supplies and sensory bin kits. Each of our kits come with a brand new book that relates to the theme of your selected kit! Here are a few of our recent listings below:

Exploring The Letter Z: Zucchini, Zebras, and Zippers

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter U ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter Y: You, Yellow, and Yarn “.

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If you have read any of our other posts, you will already know that we are big fans of Zucchini Muffins! They are a wonderfully healthy snack, but they are also incredibly easy to put together. It’s also a great activity for LC to help us with in the kitchen. For this letter Z exploration, we thought that we’d wrap up this letter unit by making these tasty treats along with learning all about the letter Z.

Zucchini Muffins – Here is a link to our post all about baking in the kitchen with our little one: ” Cooking For Toddlers: Yummy Zucchini Muffins

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Zucchini Vegetable Video For Preschoolers 

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We’ve touched on several different animals throughout our entire letter exploration, so it was only right that we ended our unit with Zebra! We’ve spent plenty of time watching videos of zebras, learning about what they eat, where they can be found, and examined their unique coloring.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Z For Zebra – For this activity, you will need one piece of white construction paper, one piece of black construction paper, and one piece of construction paper that will serve as your background. You will also need a pair of scissors, a set of googly eyes, a sharpie, and a glue stick.

First, cut out the letter Z from your piece of construction paper. Next, cut out several stripes from your piece of black construction paper. Present your little one with the background piece of paper, the letter Z, and the stripes. Have them glue the Z onto their paper and then have them add the zebra’s stripes. Add the googly eyes and that’s it! Don’t forget to use your sharpie to add a title to your child’s work.

Zebra Coloring Sheets – Here is a link to the coloring sheets we used for this portion of our letter unit.

Zebra Finger Puppets – Here is a link to this adorable project from I Heart Crafty Things. This is such a cute project!

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Zebras For Kids Video

Zebra

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The toddler age brings about a lot of different discoveries. From being able to communicate what they want to eat, and everything they don’t want to eat, to learning how to use those tiny fingers to do things. There are a million different toys, videos, and practice games parents can present their little ones that help them learn how to tie a knot, button up a shirt, or zipper up their jackets. We like real world applications for learning these types of skills, so for this portion of our unit, we did a ” Zipper Search ” in our home and challenged our daughter to zip up all of the zippers she found.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Zipper Search – We walked around our home to each room and each closet to hunt down different items of clothing that had zippers. This was such a simple activity to do with our little one, but we think it really helped her perfect this skill. Zippering up and down is the easiest of tasks for most kids to grasp, but the hard part of starting the zipping. We found that this activity really help our little one figure this part out!

Zipper Boards – If you wanted to create a more ” sit down ” activity for your little ones, we recommend making your own zipper board. These boards are super easy to put together and it is significantly cheaper than buying one of those fastener puzzles you see in the stores. Here is a link to a great blog post that features the steps for making your own zipper board and 24 other activities for keeping your toddler quiet and busy !

 

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And that wraps up our FINAL letter exploration post! We’ve had such a great time learning and growing with our daughter and have loved every second of her discovery. Next week, we’ll be publishing our post featuring links to each of our letter exploration units, as well as activities and project ideas that work with the entire alphabet. Be sure to check back with us!

Brittany XOXO

Exploring The Letter Y: You, Yellow, and Yarn

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter Y ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter X: Xylophones and X-Rays ” .

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For this portion of our letter Y exploration, we let LC focus on her. Her beautiful smile, her ability to be silly at just the right moments, and her other wonderful characteristics. We also talked about our bodies, what each part of is called, what makes up our bodies, and how we keep them safe and healthy.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Self-Portraits

This activity was so much fun for us! At the age of two, LC knows her facial features, but it was so funny to see her examine her face in a mirror and “draw” what she saw. We started with an outline of a head, neck, and shoulders on a piece of construction paper and let LC start wherever she wanted to on her portrait. We helped her along the way by sketching the eyes, nose, and mouth placement and she did her best to color over these areas herself. I think this is going to be a project I keep up with every year and see how her self-portraits change and evolve over time!

All About Me Questionaire – This is a cute questionaire to do each year with your children. We used this questionaire and it was hilarious to hear LC’s responses. Be honest and write down whatever your children say. You’ll appreciate this honesty later in their lives when you pull these out!

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Who I Am Sesame Street Video

All About Me Video

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Our little one knows all of her colors, but this was a fun way for us to explore the colors around us, while also learning about the letter Y. We focused more on the letter Y for this portion of our unit, but including the color yellow as way to also incorporate text and help LC also start to learn to identify and “read” the color names as well.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Yellow Sensory Bin

Colorful sensory bins are always fun to put together. LC went through our classroom and pulled out all of the yellow items that she saw. We through everything in our sensory bin, along with some yellow hand dyed rice, and played for over an hour. Colored themed sensory bins are great for little ones learning their colors, but they are also a great opportunity for language development and self exploration!

What’s Yellow Sorting Activity

Here is a color sorting activity we did for this unit. Sorting activities are great for little ones and can also help build a strong foundation for math skills later in their academic success. For this activity, we simply created a pile of toys and items in various colors and LC pulled out the yellow objects that she saw.

Color Names Coloring Activity – We used this coloring sheet for this portion of our letter unit. It features all of the colors, but we started with yellow since that’s where our focus was.

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our unit:

Learning Colors For Kids

Colorful Ice Cream Video 

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If you love doing projects and activities with your children, you probably already have a stock pile of yarn in your craft supplies. For this portion of our unit, we talked about all the ways you can use yarn and we did several projects using yarn as a main material.

Here are a few of the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Yarn Wrapped Stars and Trees

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This is an activity that we had done during Christmas to make some ornaments for our tree. All you need is a piece of cardboard, yarn, a pair of scissors, and tape. Cut you cardboard into any shape you’d like, tape a piece of yarn to this piece of cardboard and let your little ones wrap the yarn around the shape. This is an incredibly easy project to put together, but it also focuses on improving those fine motor skills.

Lacing Activity

Lacing cards are another activity that focuses on developing those fine motor skills. You can find lacing cards just about anywhere, even at your local dollar store! We found our set in the dollar section at Target over the summer.

 

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We are so close to being done with our letter exploration units! I can’t believe we will be started the letter Z next week. Throughout our units, our daughter has learned so much and we have spent a great deal of time together.  Keep an eye out for next weeks unit, ” Exploring The Letter Z: Zucchini, Zebras, and Zippers

Brittany XOXO

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