Learning Through Play

Letters and Words

Recognising Letter Shapes

1. Fishing for Sounds

You will need a few cards with individual letters. Attach a paper clip to each card. Using a small stick with a string and magnet, your child fishes for letter sounds. If your child can say the sound of the letter he/she wins the card, otherwise you win it.

Fishing for Letters

2. Sequencing the Letters in your Child's Name

Providing the individual letter cards for each letter of your child's first name can be a useful way to teach the sequence of letters. Remember you will need to write a capital for the first letter and lower case for the rest. If you want to print out the cards using a word processor use a font such as Century Gothic on PC which has a in Century Gothic not a. Show your child how to make the name first, before shuffling the cards for him/her to have a try. For a very long name work with the first few and build up a letter at a time.

Letter cards

3. 'What does it start with?' Box

You will need:

  • A box
  • Several items each beginning with a different sound
  • Corresponding letter cards
Box of objects

This game is similar to the common objects game on the previous page, but the emphasis now is on recognising the sounds the letters make. Ask your child to choose an object from the box, to think what its first sound is (remember it is the sound you are looking for rather than the alphabet name) and then to match the object with the relevant card.

4. Sand Tray or Finger Paints

Children enjoy writing letters with their fingers in a tray of sand or with finger paints. These ways provide good opportunities to teach correct letter formation.

Sand Tray