Teaching the Alphabet with 10 Exciting Multi-Sensory Activity Ideas

Children learn the letters and their sounds through varied and repeated exposure and practice with the alphabet.

teach the alphabet with multi sensory alphabet activities

What Literacy Concepts Should Kids Know Before Kindergarten?

There are a variety of opinions on exactly what kids should know before entering kindergarten. You can find suggestions for kindergarten readiness from school districts or state education associations or professional organizations.

While readiness lists include a variety of self-help, language, and social-emotional behaviors, each list typically includes some items from the math and English language arts domains.

teach letters to preschoolers

Typically some of these literacy foundational skills are found on the kindergarten readiness lists. While each child learns at a different pace and instruction should be provided in a developmentally appropriate way, these are some of the skills that will help kids learn to become fluent readers and writers.

  • Recognizes or identify some letters of the alphabet
  • Identify sounds of some letters
  • Differentiate between sounds that are the same and different
  • Identify the beginning sound of some words
  • Recognize environmental print (familiar signs or logos)
  • Demonstrate book awareness (understand that books are read front to back, top to bottom, left to right…. and can retel a simple story)
  • Recognize name in print
  • Attempts to write first name

How Do I Start Teaching the Alphabet?

One of the best ways to start developing alphabet awareness is by focussing on the most important letters in a child’s life – the letters in his or her name. Name activities are a fun and meaningful way to start introducing kids the letters and sounds of the alphabet.

After learning the letters in their name, children will learn additional letters through varied and repeated exposure and letter activities. Multi-sensory alphabet activities are fun, exciting, and effective.

What are Multi-Sensory Activities

Multi-sensory activities engage more than one sense at a time and give kids more than one way to connect with what they are learning

Why are Multi-Sensory Activities great for Learning Early Literacy Skills?

Kids need to use auditory skills to develop phonological awareness and phonemic awareness. They need to use visual skills to learn phonics. So….multi-sensory activities are necessary to learn to read. But you can enhance learning by using more senses. When kids learn something with more than one sense, they will more likely remember the information.

10 Multi-Sensory Alphabet Activity Ideas

Now….on to the fun part. I love creating playful alphabet activities for kids. Here are 10 multi-sensory alphabet activities for your kids.

Playdough Letter Smoosh

Form letters with coils of playdough. Say the sound of the letter as you smoosh fingerprints into the coil.

learn letters with multi-sensory playdough activity

Salt Tray & Air Letters

Say the sound of a letter as you write it with your finger in a salt tray. Say the sound as you use your finger to form the letter in the air.

forming letters with a salt tray

Songs with Actions

Sing songs that combine letters, sounds, and movement. Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds by Heidi Songs is a great one to check out.

teach the alphabet with songs

Tactile Letters

Glue items on a letter to create a tactile letter card. Use your finger to trace the letter and say the sound.

sequins on a letter card

Letter Parade

Create a large letter on the floor with masking tape. Pretend to play a musical instrument as you march around the letter. When I worked in a preschool in Columbus, Ohio, we always played Ohio State Marching Band Music. You can even show them a video of Script Ohio for inspiration.

Don’t forget to pretend that your instrument makes the same sound as the letter.

Letter Racetrack

Create a large letter on the floor with masking tape. Trace the letter by driving toy cars over the lines. Don’t forget to pretend that your car makes the letter sound.

make a letter racetrack to help kids learn letters

Animal Parade

Walk or swim a toy animal over a letter. Pretend that the animals say the name of the letter as they walk.

use toy animals to teach letter recognition

Pick Up & Place

Use tweezers, tongs, or clothespin clips to pick up pom-poms, mini-erasers, or rocks. Place the objects on a letter as you say the sound of the letter.

placing mini erasers on letter cards

Fuzzy Letters

Create letters with chenille stems. Trace the fuzzy letter with your finger as you say the sound of the letter.

Use pipe cleaners to form letters

Drive Around Letters

Place letter signs on the floor. Drive toy cars around the signs. Say the letter sound as you drive around it. This is a FUN way to teach letter recognition.

letter recognition activities - matching uppercase and lowercase letters

Get Your Free Printable

Are you ready to start trying some of these fun multi-sensory alphabet activities today? Let me sens you my FREE Multi-Sensory Alphabet Activity Guide.

The free printable includes all of these activity ideas PLUS it includes the printable letter signs pictured above in the drive around activity.  Click on the button below, fill out the form, and I will be happy to send the free printable directly to your inbox.

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