Friends, summer is here! This is the perfect time to take learning outside. Whether you are a mom of littles, a homeschooling mom, or a teacher looking for some new ideas, changing the scenery always freshens up learning! Hands-on alphabet activities help reach kinesthetic learners and reinforce skills. Helping our kids keep learning all summer long prevents the academic summer slide, too! Today I’m sharing seven hands-on alphabet activities you can do with your children at home or in August when your students return.
Squirt the Letter
Write letters using sidewalk chalk on the driveway. You can do a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, depending on what your child needs to practice. Then, call out a letter and have your child squirt it with a water squirter. We love the water squirters that we can grab at the Dollar Tree for $1!
Pool Noodle Letters
Call out a letter and have your child form it with large pool noodles. You can always find these for one dollar at the dollar store! You can call out uppercase, lowercase, or even the letter sound.
Call out a letter and let your child write uppercase and lowercase letters with their fingers in a sand table. If you don’t have a table, you can put some sand in a large baking pan or plastic tub, too. If sand scares you, don’t worry! You can use dry beans, noodles, or rice even. They are much easier to clean up, too!
Create Alphabet Books
Alphabet books are a great way to practice letter identification and beginning sounds. I created a set of books for all 26 letters that will give your kids hands-on practice and keep them engaged. Once each book is completed, they will have something to go back and practice reading, too. You can find these in my store HERE.
Alphabet Letter Races
If you’ve got a kiddo that needs to burn off some energy, this is the perfect activity. First set two buckets about 20 feet apart. Leave one bucket empty, and fill the other with water and foam letters. Have your child start at the empty bucket. Then, call out a letter (or letter sound). Next, your child will race to the water bucket, quickly find the letter, and run it back to the empty bucket. If you have more than one child, they can race each other!
Water Balloon Matching
Using sidewalk chalk, write the lowercase letters around the driveway. Then, fill up water balloons and write the uppercase letters on those. Finally, have your child walk around and drop the water balloon on the chalk letter that matches it. This one takes a little more prep work, but your kiddo will love it!
Paint the Alphabet
You can buy chalk paint brushes HERE. You can also find a recipe for chalk paint HERE for free. Call out a letter (or letter sound) and have your child write the upper and lower case letters. If you have younger children who aren’t quite ready for this yet, you can write the letters in chalk and let them “paint” over it with a regular wet paintbrush. Wet sidewalk chalk turns bright and will be just as exciting!
These hands-on alphabet activities will give your kids some tactile practice with the alphabet this summer. Turning learning into games and taking it outside makes it fun and engaging. Most of these activities take little to no advanced prep work.
If you would like to send this home with your students over the summer for some practice, this hand out with the game instructions is perfect for your summer bucket gift!
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Next time you’ve got some time to spare, try one of these out. I’d love to hear how it goes! What’s your favorite way to practice the alphabet during the summer?