I don’t think I realized how much learning occurs with the alphabet until after my third year of teaching. I don’t remember doing a lot of alphabet activities in my elementary years other than saying the alphabet. That was the knowledge I had when I started teaching. I went to a training the summer after my third year that showed me how many different skills and activities could be done with the alphabet to help students. I didn’t know that it was a good idea to use an alphabet arc with my students who struggled with their knowledge of the alphabet. I didn’t know what activities to do to support my students who were struggling with their knowledge of the alphabet. I walked away from that training with so many tools in my toolbelt. Research shows us that being able to know and manipulate the alphabet is so important for our little learners. Let’s chat about some interactive alphabet activities for kindergarten!
There are so many great alphabet activities for kindergarten and 1st grade that you can do with your learners. These activities help them grow in their knowledge of and application of the alphabet. We know teaching them letter names, sounds, and what the letters look like is so important to their future reading success. Here are some of my favorite ways to make alphabet activities interactive!
1. Swat the Letter
One of my students favorite activities was a game we played called Swat the Letter. I would write the letters of the alphabet on my dry erase board, or here I used these awesome phonics clings from Carson Dellosa, in a random order. My students would line up in a line and I would hand them a fly swatter. When it was their turn, I would call out a letter and they had to swat that letter in a few seconds. Later in the year, I would add in uppercase letters and have them find both the uppercase and lowercase letters. You could also have your students identify the letter that makes the sound you say. There are so many ways to adapt this activity!
2. Alphabet Building
One of my favorite alphabet activities for centers is alphabet building. You can find these ready for you in my alphabet centers HERE. Students will trace the letter with their finger while saying the letter name. Then, they will use Play-Doh to build the letter. Last, they can say the sound the letter makes.
This is just one activity in my alphabet centers set. There are other activities that focus on identifying uppercase and lowercase letters, sounds letters represent, and letter formation. You can use these to differentiate your literacy centers!
3. Alphabet Basketball
Another student favorite! This one requires some prep work but students love it! You will need some cups with letters written or taped on the front. Your students will line up and try to toss a wadded up piece of paper into one of the cups when it is their turn. When the wadded ball lands in a cup, they need to say the letter name and sound(s) the letter makes.
4. Alphabet Books
Another way to make alphabet activities for kindergarten fun is by using interactive alphabet books. I always loved having my students make a book that they could put in their book box and read later. They have such a sense of pride in reading a book they made! You can also have them focus on many different skills while working through their books- identifying pictures that start with a specified letter, discriminating between long and short vowel sounds and identifying pictures that do not start with a specified letter. I have a set of alphabet books already made for you that focus on these skills. You can grab them HERE!
5. Alphabet Musical Chairs
Musical chairs is always a crowd favorite! Write the names of letters on sticky notes and stick them underneath chairs. Play music and have students walk around the chairs. When the music stops, students will sit in a chair. Have students go around the circle and say the letter name or sound on their sticky note! Play music again and repeat!
6. Shaving Cream Alphabet
Another favorite activity that works for so many different skills is shaving cream! My students always loved when they got to use shaving cream. We used it to work on forming letters correctly on our desks, writing letter names that matched their sounds and so many other things!
7. Beach Ball Alphabet
Balls always make things more fun! Get a beach ball and write the alphabet in Sharpie all over it. Have your students sit in a circle. They will toss the beach ball to one another. When they catch it, they have to identify one of the letters one of their fingers landed on. They could also say the sound the letter makes if they are ready for it!
These alphabet activities for kindergarten made working with the alphabet fun for my class and I hope they make it fun for yours too. Do you have any favorite interactive alphabet activities? I’d love to hear about some of your favorites in the comments.