It is never too early to start exposing your kids to letters and words. Although letter recognition is not a focus until preschool and kindergarten, it is important to introduce letters to your kids as early as possible. This starts by reading to your kids every night beginning from birth!
Aside from reading each night, there are several fun and interactive ways to increase letter recognition. Even though kids are home for the summer, that does not mean that the learning has to stop! The summer offers a wide variety of opportunities to teach our children new skills and expose them to new ideas.
10 Ways to Increase Letter Recognition:
Play with Sidewalk Chalk
This summer have fun using sidewalk chalk to draw letters all over the driveway. I suggest starting with your child’s name and then move onto the entire alphabet. You can also draw pictures of objects that start with each letter. (Make it even more fun by using this affiliate link to get Glow in the Dark Chalk!) Writing with chalk not only increases letter recognition, but it also enhances fine motor skills!
To play this game, just put foam letters in your water table or pool and have the kids “fish” for the letters. Once caught, have them identify the letter and/or state an object that starts with that letter. Make it more challenging, by having them come up with words using the letters caught! Some letters you may want to use are: (affiliate link) Little Tikes Bath Letters, Munchkin Bath Letters and Go Bath Letters.
Write in the Sand
A trip to the beach can offer so many amazing educational opportunities and letter recognition is one of them. Use your finger or stick to draw letters in the sand and then have your child label them. They can also find objects around the beach that start with that letter.
Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt
The summer is the perfect time to explore nature and enjoy hikes with your kids. Why not add some education to the adventure? While walking in the park or woods, have your kids find one object that starts with each letter of the alphabet. To make it more difficult, have them try to find letters in nature that are made by tree branches and sticks.
My kids love playing Zoo Bingo! To play, first create a Bingo card with various letters on it. Then, while visiting the zoo, have your kids find an animal that starts with the letters on the card. Once found, they can cross out that letter. When they get one row (or any combination decided upon), they get a prize! For real little ones, the Bingo board can have a corresponding picture to increase understanding.
Make Letters in Shaving Cream
I consider this a summer time task because it is much less messy to do this outside! To play, just put shaving cream on a picnic table, patio floor or driveway, then have your kids draw letters in it. This is a great sensory based activity!
Make a Vacation Alphabet Book
During your summer vacation, have your kids take pictures or draw pictures of fun things they do or see that start with each letter of the alphabet. You can also create a book prior to your trip with all the things you want to see while on vacation. For example, for our trip to Disney last summer, my son made a wish list book which listed things Tyler wanted to do that started with each letter of the alphabet such as meet Mickey for “M” and ride Dumbo for “D.”
Play “I Spy” Using Letters
Kids love playing I Spy, and it’s a fun brain boosting road trip game. This summer, make it even more fun and educational by looking for objects that begin with specific letters. For example, say, “I spy with my little eyes something that starts with the letter A.”
Letter Treasure Hunt
Letter Treasure Hunt is a fun game to play inside or outside. To play, hide the letters in your child’s name all around the yard and/or in the sandbox. Then, have them find all the letters and put their name together. On a rainy day, hide the letters around the house. A fun reward can be waiting for them when the task is successfully completed!
Make Letters Using Outdoor Objects
For this activity, draw large letters on paper then glue outdoor objects over the letter. You can use items such as sand, sticks, shells and flowers. This is another great sensory based task!
Have another great idea for learning letters? Please share it with me by commenting below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org!