How to Improve Alphabet Recognition by Sorting Letters


Sorting letters with name cards is a great way to help kids learn to recognize letters of the alphabet. use the free printable name card templates, magnetic letters, and a cookie sheet to make this activity for your kids.

Kids enjoy activities that are all about them.  That’s why sorting letters with name cards are a great way to teach letter recognition.  You may have seen my name card printable and tutorial on this website.  In addition to using the name cards on word walls, you can use them for activities with magnetic letters.

Sorting letters


You will need the following supplies for this letter activity:

  • Name cards – see my name cards article to get the download and see the tutorial.
  • magnetic letters
  • cookie sheets of magnetic boards – I bought a bunch of cookie sheets at the dollar store.
  • washi tape

Prepare a Magnetic Board or Cookie Sheet

An inexpensive cookie sheet can serve as a great sorting tray when using magnetic letters.  I used a strip of solid washi tape to divide the cookie sheet into two sections.  The great thing about washi tape is that it can be easily removed when you are done with the activity.

Use cookie sheets for your sorting letters.

Add Name Cards and Magnetic Letters

Add a handful of letters to the bottom portion of the tray and a name card to the top.  It’s okay if every letter in the alphabet or every letter in each of the names is not represented.

Sort the Letters

Kids can sort through the magnetic letters on the bottom of the tray. Letters that are on the name card can be pulled up to the top of the tray and letters that are not on the name card can be left at the bottom of the tray.  When kids have completed the activity with one card, they move all of the letters back to the bottom, select a new name card, and sort the letters again.

Sorting letters with name cards

This activity can also open discussion about the letters.

  • What do you notice about these letters?
  • Which letters do you need to complete the name?
  • Do you hear that letter when I say the name?
  • How many magnetic letters are in the name?
  • How many of the name cards have the letter __?

I hope that your kids enjoy sorting letters with name cards.  I would love to hear how you use magnetic letters and/or name cards.

Purchase the Resources

The name cards are also included in my Word Wall Activity Set. Purchase the set below.

Interested in additional name activities for your kids?  Check out my Name Activities Bundle.

alphabet activity bundle