Marvelous Magnetic Letters!


Marvelous Magnetic Letters!

Skills:  alphabet knowledge, visual matching, concept of words

Letter Play - Let children play with magnetic letters on a cookie
sheet or file cabinet.
Hint!  You can also put small magnetic letters in a candy/mint tin
and let children make words on the lid!

Sand Box Treasure - Hide magnetic letters in your sand table. 
Children can take a magnet and try to identify letters they

Letter Password - Place several letters you are working on
around your door frame.  As children leave the room, ask them to
touch a particular letter.  (You could also ask them to touch the
letter they hear at the beginning of particular word.)

Letter Match Up - Create a class alphabet book by having
children draw pictures for each letter.  Place an outline of the
magnetic letter at the top of the appropriate page.  Children take
the real letters and match them up to the outline in the book.

Letter Hunt - Hide letters in the classroom.  Children will love to
go on a “letter hunt.”  Can they identify the letters they find? 
Can they make a word with the letters they find?

Touch and Tell - Place a magnetic letter in a sock.  Can children
reach in the sock and identify the letter by feeling it?

Building Words - Demonstrate how to build words with magnetic

Letter Pops

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; print knowledge

You will need a set of magnetic lettersPops and jumbo craft sticks to make your letter pops.  Glue the letters to the craft sticks with a strong glue (such as E6000).  Pass these out to the children to hold up as you sing alphabet songs. 

  • Have them match up their letter to classroom print or letters in books.
  • Make a set with uppercase letters and lowercase letters.   Pass these out and then challenge children to find their match.
  • Put letter pops together to make words.

Letter Tree

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; print knowledge

After reading CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOMTree by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault you can make your own letter tree. 

You will need the following materials:  large empty coffee can or vegetable can, brown or gold spray paint, green felt (2 or 3 colors of green and a small piece of brown), magnetic strip, craft glue, magnetic letters. 

First, spray paint the can gold or brown.  Next, cut out 9 palm fronds from felt using the attached pattern.  Glue the palms as shown and then cut out several coconuts from the brown felt and glue on top.  Attach a magnetic strip to the bottom of the palms.  Turn the can upside down and place the palms on top to create a tree.  Attach the magnetic letters to the side of the can. 

Ask children to place the letters in their name on the tree; attach the letters they can recognize; put up the letters that are all the same color; make words, etc.  When they are finished playing with the tree, they simply turn the can over and place the palms and letters in the can.

Play Dough Letters

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; small motor skills

Write letters on clear plastic plates, plastic placemats, sheet protectors, or leftover laminating film with a permanent marker.  Make play dough from the recipe below. 

Children roll play dough and place it on top to make the letter.  Can they make objects that begin with that sound?
Homemade Play Dough
2 cups flour
2 cups
2 TB cream of tartar
2 TB vegetable oil
2 cups water
Food coloring

Mix ingredients together in a pan until smooth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a ball and sticks to the spoon.  Cool and knead.  Store in zip baggie

*Substitute baby oil or aroma therapy oil for the vegetable oil.  You can also add unsweetened Kool-aid, vanilla, cinnamon, or other spices to give it an aroma.

ABC Cheer Cards

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; print knowledge

You can download a set of cheer cards for each letter free at TPT.

  • Let children choose a letter and then lead the Cheersclass in that cheer. 
  • Store smaller cheer cards in a bag or Cheer detergent box.


Thanks to Mary Amoson at for creating these.


Sign Language Letters

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; small motor skills; print connections

Sing and Signs – Teach children signs for letters as they are introduced.  Use this song to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?” to reinforce the concept.
                  Where is A?          Where is A?  (Children repeat.)
                  Here I am!            (Hold up the manual sign for A.)
                  Here I am!            (Children repeat and copy sign.)
                  What do you say A?What do you say A?
                  /a/ /a/ /a/            /a/ /a/ /a/

Letter Box – Here’s another song you can use to teach children manual signs for letters.  It goes to the tune of “Polly Wolly Doodle.”
I wish I had a letter box         
To put my A in.
I’d take it out and go                (Hold up sign for a.)
/a/ /a/ /a/
And put it back again.               (Put hand back in box.)
Continue singing other letters and making signs for the letters as you sing.


Sign and Spell – Use sign language to spell children’s names and other words.

Dismissal – Tell the children to watch your hand.  As you make the sign that their name begins with, they may be dismissed to line up, go to centers, wash hands, etc.

Hint!  Remind children when they make the signs to make strong letters instead of wimpy letters.  Making strong letters will help build small muscles.

Letter Exercising

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; motor skills; phonological awareness

All right couch potatoes! Sign Time to exercise bodies and brains with these movement activities!

Lettercise – Put your hands in the air and say a letter, touch your waist and make the sound, and then touch the ground and say a word that begins with that sound.  For example:

                  “a”              Hands in the air.
                  /a/              Hands on waist.
                  ant              Touch the ground.
                  “b”              Hands in air.
                  /b/              Hands on waist.
                  bear            Touch the ground.

Letter Punch – Say letters, and then punch hand over opposite side of the body as you make the sound.

                  “a”              /a/              Punch right hand to the left.
                  “b”              /b/              Punch left hand to the right.     

Karate Chop – Spread feet wide and alternate chopping your right and left hand as you say the letters and make the sounds.

Patty Cake – Students will need a partner for this activity.  Facing their partner, they clap hands and then tap right hands as they say a letter.  Clap hands and then tap left hands as they make the sound.

March, Jump, Dance – March as you sing the traditional “Alphabet Song.”  Jump, tip toe, or make other movements as you say letters. 

*Do the “disco” by putting one hand on your hip and the index finger from the other hand in the air.  Move your hand top to bottom across your body as you sing letters.

Feel, Taste, and Touch!

Skills:  alphabet knowledge; small motor skills; print connection

Senses are like pathways to the brain.  The more senses you activate, the more likely the message is going to get there.  And through repetition, the message is going to stay there!

Photo Sheets – Make letters with dots on a photo sheet.  Connect the dots with a marker, Wikki Sticks, or other materials.
*Children can also outline letters with dry beans, counting bears, shells, buttons, and other manipulatives.

Rainbow Writing - Make “rainbow letters” by tracing around letters with different colors of crayons.
Hint!  Make giant rainbow letters using bulletin board paper on the wall.

Scratch and Sniff - Write letters with glue, then sprinkle with Jell-o or powdered drink mix.  Dry, scratch, and sniff!
Hint!  Each child will need his/her OWN!

Lotty Dotty - Use a marker to make dotted letters.Lotty Dotty  Put a drop of glue on top of each dot.  Children trace over the dots of glue with their finger as they make the sound. 


Rub Overs - Write letters with water soluble makers. Trace over the letters with white glue.  The marker will be absorbed into the glue to create a raised letter.  Children place a sheet of paper on top and rub with the side of a crayon.  Taa daa!Rub Overs
*You can also make invisible letters by just using glue.  Children rub over the letter to discover what it is.



Hint!  You may need to tape these to a table or use with a clip board to keep them in place.

Magic Paint Brush – Give children a clean paint brush and a cup of water.  Children make letters on a chalkboard and then watch them disappear!
Hint!  Place a small piece of sponge in a spring clothespin and use as a paintbrush.

Mystery Letter - Write letters with a white crayon.  Children take a large paint brush and diluted paint and “wash” over the entire page to make the letter appear.

Pretzel ABC’s - Give children pretzel sticks and pretzel twists.  Have them nibble the pretzels to make letters.

Squirt and Eat - Use squirt cheese to make letters on crackers.  Lick the letters with your tongue.  (Squirt icing also works on sugar cookies.)

Alphabet Cereal, Crackers, and Pretzels - Letter shaped snack foods can be used for identifying letters, making words, or eating!

Letter Pasta – Purchase pasta/macaroni in the shape of alphabet letters.  Separate the pasta into four plastic bags.  Add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and a large squirt of food coloring to each bag.  Shake.  Dry on wax paper.  Mix the colors together to get a rainbow of letters.  Children can “find” letters with a magnifying glass.  Or, give them tweezers to pick out letters they know.

Letter Transfer - Have children move foam letters from one plate to another plate with tongs.
Hint!  You can also have children move plastic letters from one bowl to another with a spoon.

Letter Beads – Let children string plastic beads on a pipe cleaner to make a bracelet.  They could spell out their name or other special words.

Stencils – Give children letter stencils to trace around on construction paper.  Children can cut out the letters after they’ve traced around them. 
Hint!  They can also make a letter necklace by punching holes in the letters they’ve cut out and stringing them on yarn.


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