Playing With Letters


Purpose: Introduce your child to letters and give him an awareness of print.

For this Activity you will need:

  • The book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
  • Box of letters (magnetic or foam)

  1. Take out the wooden letters and let your child play with them. He may sort them, look at them, line them up, feel their shape or talk about them. Help your child notice that some of the letters have rounded parts, some have straight edges, and some have holes in them.
  2. Ask him if he knows the names of any of the letters. Help him find the ones he knows.
  3. Use the letters to spell your child’s name. Hold his hand and use his finger to point to each letter as you spell his name aloud.
  4. Tell your child, "We are going to read a book that has all of these letters in it. Let’s see if you and I can find the letters in our pile to match the ones on each page!"
  5. Read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to your child, talking about the letters as you read. Help him find some of the letters as you read about them in the book. Have him try to match them to the letters on the page.

Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • Point out letters and print in your child’s world. Look for letters in the grocery store, on the bus, on street signs and building signs, and on food packages.
  • Point out letters that are important to your child. (For example: "Look, there is an S on the Stop sign, just like the S in your name Sally!")
  • Put letters in alphabetical order and sing the alphabet song (the "ABC’s"). Pointing to each letter as you sing.
  • Give your child the newspaper or a magazine and let him look for letters that he knows.
  • Help your child use the letters to "spell out" the names of people in his family, pets, toys or favorite characters.

Background Information:

Language & Literacy involves:

  • Speaking clearly.
  • Asking and answering questions.
  • Paying attention to and listening to people and stories.
  • Following directions.
  • Showing an interest in books.
  • Learning about sounds in words.
  • Recognizing letters and numbers.
  • Drawing pictures and trying to write and copy letters.

When your child starts school, he will be more likely to do well if he is able to do these things.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


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