MBug has just turned 4. This school year, we’ve explored the alphabet in many playful ways (mostly in our every day routine, but also with paint, with my Pre-K/K Packs, and various alphabet matching games, like our most recent LEGO matching.)
In just the last month, her ear for hearing the beginning sounds in words is blossoming. In the line at the grocery store, she’ll pipe up, “Bananas start with /b/, right mommy?” While she doesn’t always get it “right”, she is showing me that she is ready for me to bump it up a notch with her. I knew she was ready for more of a challenge. Something to get her listening, creating and discerning beginning sounds. So, I created an alphabet scavenger hunt with beginning sounds. I invite you to see how we did it!
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Setting up the Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
I waited until the active tot was asleep (this is key) and using painter’s tape, I blocked off a 3×4 grid on our playroom room. (Note: There’s nothing magical about the size I chose. I just wanted 12 spaces.)
I took the pieces out of our lower case alphabet foam puzzle (that I bought at our $1 store about 12 years ago) and placed one consonant letter in each square of the grid. There also wasn’t anything “magical” about the letters I chose. As you’ll see, letters were swapped out after our activity for other letters.
Going on an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt!
We first reviewed all the letter names and letter sounds. Then I said, “Guess what we’re going to do today? We’re going to go on an alphabet scavenger hunt! We’re going to look for things around our house that start with these letters.” I modeled with the letter P, finding an object that that the beginning sound of P and placing in p‘s square. She was ready to go!
Together, we walked around the house and found things that started with each letter. This was such a great challenge for her because it required her to really listen for beginning sounds. She didn’t always pick up an object that started with one of the letters and we had great discussions about this.
With each object, I turned over more and more responsibility to her to say the object’s name and listen for the beginning sound.
Soon, we had the entire floor filled up with objects from our scavenger hunt, yet another reason the tot needed to be asleep!
I know what you’re probably thinking. What a mess on the floor! But, hang with me now. We integrated clean up into the activity. “Find all the objects that start with /f/ and let’s put them away.” (I helped with clean up, too.) We did this until the objects were in their original home.
Now, standing by and watching this whole game play out happened to be one older brother who is particularly fond of hands-on games. Once we had our objects cleaned up, he jumped right in, reorganized the letters, and they played another round together. (I love overhearing him play the role of teacher.)
More Alphabet Ideas:
- LEGO Alphabet Matching Game
- Teaching Toddlers the Alphabet
- FREE Pre-K/K Packs– each themed pack includes activities for reinforcing letters and their sounds
- If your preschooler is ready for something more, feel free to check out Reading the Alphabet, a FREE 31-week reading curriculum…a next step after the ABC’s. You can also purchase the bundle pack for only $10.
- Right now, I also have an EMAIL SUBSCRIBER FREEBIE that reinforces letter sounds and beginning handwriting at the same time. Click HERE or on the image above to read more about how to get them.
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