7 Fun And Easy Games For Learning Letters At Home

by wherelearnu

Learning letters is a key foundation of your child’s literacy journey. But where and how exactly can you begin?

Surprisingly, although lowercase letters are what we commonly see when reading, it’s best to begin teaching children the alphabet with uppercase letters. There are many reasons for this:

  • Most schools start teaching uppercase letters, so it is helpful if children are already familiar with them before school.
  • It’s easier to tell them apart. For example, children can confuse g, q, and p. And b and d are very similar, too. You don’t have this problem when dealing with uppercase letters since, for the most part, they all look different.
  • They are easier to write.
  • Many uppercase letters mimic lowercase, so it becomes easy for a child to make the connection once you move on to lowercase letters.

While we recommend starting with uppercase letters, if you decide to teach your child lowercase letters first, that’s OK, and the below tips still apply.

It’s also important to understand that teaching letter names and teaching letter sounds are two different things. We suggest focusing on letter names first because most kids won’t pick up on sounds right away, or teaching sounds and names together as long as it doesn’t confuse your child.

Where Do You Begin?

Teaching children the alphabet can be a lengthy journey. However, before you know it, your beginning learner will be reciting those letters back to you with excitement.

Here’s how you can help your child get there.

1) Read Alphabet Books

Father reading to his daughter

Reading to your child has many incredible benefits for your child’s curious mind. It helps develop their listening skills, expands their vocabulary, and opens up their imaginations, to name a few. Books can also help your child learn the alphabet and begin to identify each letter.

Here are a few books we recommend:

  • A to Z
  • The Alphabet Book
  • LMNO Peas (also found in the HOMER Learn & Grow app)
  • Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s ABC
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (also found in the HOMER Learn & Grow app)

2) Explore Different Names

One of the best ways to help your child learn letters is by exploring different names. You can start by writing down the names of the people in your household. Then, print each word on a large sheet of paper and place it in front of your child.

After exploring the letters in each name, you can have fun by playing the following games:

  • Ask your child to identify specific letters — Which name has an O in it?
  • How many letters are in your name?
  • Which letter appears the most times?

This activity will expose your child to the alphabet repetitively, which will help their letter recognition skills. It also helps them understand that the alphabet is a code made of different letters, and we combine these letters when we write words, like names.

3) Use Magnetic Letters

Using magnetic letters is a great hands-on way to get your young learner engaging with the alphabet.

The best part is that there are many playful and fun ways for them to learn. You can encourage them to:

  • Say a letter that’s on the fridge and then toss that letter in a box
  • Find five letters that you’ve hidden and name the letters when they do
  • Tell you which letter you removed from the fridge out of the two that were on it (increasing the number of letters as they get the hang of it)
  • And so much more…

4) Sing The Alphabet Song

The alphabet song is a popular tool to help children learn letters. But why sing it the regular way?

The HOMER ABC Song is an energetic rendition of the alphabet song. The alphabet is everywhere, hiding in, on, or around objects that represent each alphabet letter.

This is an excellent way to help children learn letters while also expanding their vocabulary.

Additional Tips For Learning Letters

Young girl learning letters

In addition to the above pointers, you can help your child learn the alphabet by:

  • Making it fun. Children learn best when having fun, so don’t be afraid to try out different games that are both exciting and educational, like the ones below.
  • Incorporating it into everyday life. Letters are in our names, different words, etc. So, don’t forget to point it out to your child as you go about your day. For example, “Look, there’s an L, the first letter in your name!”
  • Starting with what they know. The names of family members (including pets!) are an excellent starting point to learning letters. Help your child learn their name; that “M” is the first letter in “mommy;” “daddy” starts with a “D;” etc.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to start introducing your child to letters, let’s get into some activities that you can try at home today.

7 Fun And Effective Games For Learning Letters

Little blonde toddler boy drawing with pastels and coloring pens

1) JUMBO Letters

What You’ll Need:

  • Drawing pad
  • Pencil
  • Crayons
  • Stickers

What To Do:

For jumbo letters, you’ll sketch one letter on a drawing pad and encourage your child to color it in. After that, your child can put stickers on it and decorate it as they please to make it a real work of art. Over time, you could make a jumbo book with all 26 letters of the alphabet.

This is a colorful and creative way to repetitively expose your child to letters while they also work on their fine motor skills.

2) Letter Collage

What You’ll Need:

  • Craft paper (i.e., cardstock)
  • Toddler scissors
  • Glue
  • Old magazines, catalogs, newspapers, etc.
  • Pencils or crayons.

What To Do:

To get started, you’ll need to allocate one letter of the alphabet to each sheet of paper. Then, after drawing a letter at the top of the sheet, help your child identify the letter.

Next, encourage your child to flip through the magazines, catalogs, and newspapers to find items that begin with each letter. For example, if you’re working on the letter “C,” your child can find pictures of a cat, cake, candy, cap, etc.

You can then help them cut out these images and paste them onto the paper. This way, every time your child sees “C,” they’ll remember the different objects that start with the letter.

3) ABC Cookies

Mom baking with daughter

What You’ll Need:

  • The HOMER sugar cookie recipe
  • Letter cutters for baking

What To Do:

To get started baking your cookies, just follow the detailed instructions from our special sugar cookie recipe. When it’s time to cut them into shapes, remember to use your letter cutters!

This is a fun (and delicious!) way to continue exposing your child to the letters of the alphabet.

4) Letter Hunt

The goal of this activity is simple: Find an item or a group of items that begin with a certain letter. For example, you can ask your child to find items that begin with the letter “S” (e.g., socks, strawberries, salt, etc.).

Once they are comfortable with one letter, you can then add more to the list. For instance — find one item that starts with an “S,” two that start with a “B” (e.g., ball, bat, bottle, etc.), and three that start with a “T” (e.g., teddy, t-shirt, tomato, etc.).

For this activity, your child will be practicing more than just letters and their sounds. They’ll also be brushing up on their counting, developing their memory skills, and also learning about following directions.

5) Connect The Letters

Young kid learning letters by tracing

What You’ll Need:

  • Large sheet of paper
  • Pencil
  • Crayons

What To Do:

To get started, you’ll need to write two of each letter of the alphabet spread apart on your sheet of paper. You’ll then ask your child to draw lines from A to A, B to B, C to C, etc., without crossing any lines.

Keep in mind that they don’t have to connect the letters in alphabetical order, and you may want to begin with five or so letters until your child gets the hang of this activity. When your child is ready, they can also connect uppercase to lowercase letters: A to a and B to b, for example.

This is a great game for your child to continue learning letters and the unique qualities that make each symbol different from the next.

6) Object/Letter Match

What You’ll Need:

  • Printable letter cards
  • An empty box (e.g., cardboard box, shoebox, etc.)

What To Do:

All you’ll need to do here is collect household items that start with different letters and place them in your empty box. After doing so, encourage your child to match these objects to the cards using their first letters.

For example, “In this box, we have socks, a teddy bear, and a camera. This is a “C.” It makes a /k/ sound. Which of these starts with a C?”

This game focuses on both letter names and their sounds and calls on kids to isolate the initial sound of words, a very valuable but challenging skill. This means that you might end up having to make that connection for your child.

If that happens, it’s OK! Exposure to the alphabet is always beneficial.

7) Household Item Labeling

Young girl coloring with colored pencils

What You’ll Need:

  • Printable letter cutouts
  • Blu Tack

What To Do:

This last game works similarly to the previous one. Only this time, your child will use letter cutouts and stick them to the item that starts with that letter. For example, “F” on the fridge, “D” on the door, etc.

As this game also incorporates learning letter sounds, your child might need a bit of help. This and the activity above are best to do once your child is able to identify some letters.

It’s Easy As ABC!

Young girl learning letters with blocks

Learning letters is an exciting time for your child. This foundation is the core of their reading and writing journey.

Whether you use some or all of the above games, remember to keep practicing to help them get comfortable with letters. With lots of practice and a little bit of patience, your young learner will soon be reading and writing on their own!

Check the HOMER Learn & Grow app for more information (and fun activities!) on early childhood development.


You may also like