At our CEFA Early Learning schools, children learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet as well as the sound each letter makes. This is achieved through various fun activities presented as part of our literacy curriculum.

This is one of the activities your child will love to play as it involves the whole body as well as multiple senses! You can play this game with things you have around the house and even write each letter on pieces of coloured paper if you don’t want to invest in the little alphabet rugs, so give it a try!

Best Ages for This ActivityCardstock

Best for one to three year old children (CEFAbaby to Junior Kindergarten One grades). If your child is not at a CEFA Early Learning school, you may want to present it to your four year old as well.

How to Make It

You will need

  • Aa – Zz flor mats or
  • Cardstock paper (to write or print the letters on)
  • Phonetic alphabet pouches; and/or
  • Small objects or pictures of objects that you can find around the house representing each letter of the alphabet (ex: a toy car for the letter Cc, a spoon for the letter Ss)

Let’s get Started

Place the pouches in their cloth basket. Together take one, “read” the letter, turn it around to see the sound it makes, then find its match in the carpet markers. Trace the letters on the markers once you find each one, to reinforce sensory learning of the letters. You can add just a few if it’s too hard, and add more as the children progress.

  • Line up the carpet markers in alphabetical order on the floor. Place them in a path that children can follow. You can use a hallway, turn corners into another room and place them any way you like but make sure that they are all in order as well as straight (crooked or upside-down mats will make it much more difficult for your child to recognize and does not help your child learn how to write or recognize the letters).
  • Place the phonetic pouches in their cloth basket, or in a basket or container
  • Invite your child to play with the alphabet.
  • together take one pouch, and “read” the letter. Turn it around to see the sound it makes, then find its match on the carpet markers. Once you found the letter on the marker, invite your child to trace it on the marker (the texture provides the same learning as the Montessori sandpaper letters), saying its sound as you trace (mmmmmm) not the name of the letter (em). Tracing will reinforce sensory learning of the letters, which is a step towards learning to write.
  • Keep the instructions simple. If you are playing with the pouches, say: let’s match each pouch to their letter! Here’s a ccccccrocodile! What letter says ccccc? Cc! let’s find Cc!
  • If your child does not recognize the letter, that’s fine! This is a fun way to associate the letter with its phonetic sound, and good practice. You will see that before long, your child will know the sounds of the letters, which is the beginning of reading!
  • If you wish, you can start with three or four letters and pouches, and then discover more letters and pouches as you play again in the following days and weeks.
  • If you want to expand, you can also look around the house for objects that start with the letters and add them to the mats. For example, on the Bb mat, you can put a button, a balloon, a ball, etc. The game is finished when you find at least one object or image for each letter.

Learning Opportunities

Children will gain literacy skills, fine motor skills, reading skills, sensory development, hand-eye coordination, letter recognition, phonics, S.T.E.M., especially in the area of mathematics (sorting, grouping, matching, sizes, etc.). It is an excellent activity to enrich your child’s vocabulary, which is a great predictor of school success. It is also offers an opportunity for you and your child to spend quality time together, playing and having fun, which is essential for your child’s social and emotional development.

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