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What's This Letter? Five Classroom Letter Recognition Games

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 7/12/2012

Learning games can be homemade or purchased online or in a store. As long as you keep the children engaged and learning you have made the right choice. Find some suggestions in this article.

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    Preschool Letter Recognition

    Letter recognition is an important pre-reading skill to master for preschoolers and young elementary students. Using preschool letter recognition games can make the learning fun. There are such a variety of games for teachers and parents to employ. No matter what learning style the child has, there is a game or activity to use. Now let's learn about online resources and games to make and play!

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    Make a Game!

    In the classroom, there are many games to play. Here are some examples:

    1. Use file cards and write the upper case (capital) letter on one card and the lower case (small) on another card. Use the cards to play a memory game with a small group of students. Do not use the whole alphabet at one time. Concentrate on the letters that you have introduced.

    2. Use the same file cards from #1. Pass out one card per student. When everyone has a card, instruct students to find the matching partner (upper and lower case). After everyone has found the correct partner, ask each pair to identify the letter they are holding.

    3. Make a board game! Board games are easy to make, can be used to review a skill, and are fun for the children. Board games also teach social skills such as taking turns, following rules, and good sportsmanship.

    4. Play a circle game like musical chairs without the chairs. Write letters on pieces of construction paper. Laminate them if you want to save them for multiple uses. Place cards in a circle. The children parade around the circle stepping on the cards as they go. When the music stops, the teacher calls out a letter. The person standing on it sits in the middle.

    5. This game is active and reviews the letter that you have introduced. You will need a large area such as a multi-purpose room, playground, or sufficient classroom floor space. Use the cards you made for item #4. Scatter the cards around with a few feet of distance between them. Students should wait on the edge of the area. Then give instructions like this, “All boys should hop to the letter J or Table 4 students should take baby steps to the letter M." When they get to the designated letter they should say the letter out loud. Continue the game with a variety of directions so that students practice listening skills, following directions, and letter recognition.

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    Software for Letter Recognition

    You can practice letter recognition at home or with individuals and small groups on a computer in the classroom using specific software.

    Finding Nemo: Learning With Nemo is from Disney/Pixar and intended for two to five year old children. Obviously the younger ones will need someone to help with computer usage. It covers many preschool skills including number and letter recognition in a familiar setting with Nemo.

    Beginning Sounds by School Zone Publishing is intended for ages three to five. Its format is like a workbook page and has games after the student has successfully answered a few questions. Its disadvantage is the repetitiveness which could cause the child to lose interest.

    Reader Rabbit: Preschool Sparkle Star Rescue is made by The Learning Company and intended for ages three to five. The ratings are mixed but it can be used for review of letters not for introducing them.

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    Online Sites For Preschool Learning

    Here are a few of the many preschool online sites for games and activities which reinforce letter recognition:

    www.pbskids.org/games/alphabet.html Children will love the familiar characters from Sesame Street, Between the Lions and more.

    www.funschool.Kaboose.com/preschool is a colorful site by Disney and there is a specific tab “Learn ABC’s"

    www.nickjr.com/games Nick Jr. is the new name for Nickelodeon. On the left side under the topic: Themes you can choose “letters and spelling". Moose and Zee has a game for matching lower case letters and others. Lots of familiar children’s characters on this site.

    www.fisher-price.com Fisher Price doesn't just market toys! Under the tab Games and Activities you will find a link to online games for infants, toddlers and preschoolers including the ABC’s Zoo Learning Game.

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    Preschool letter recognition games make learning fun and active. Keep your little ones engaged with movement and variety while they learn. There are lots of choices!

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