Learning the alphabet and letter sounds is extra fun if you play a game that you and your child made together! This game is very inexpensive to make and allows your child to practice using scissors and glue.
Recycle your old magazines as you search for pictures for each letter of the alphabet. There are two versions of a memory game below. One is for upper and lower case matching, and the second one is for matching the picture with its beginning sound.
What You Do:
- Using markers, have your child write each of the upper case letters on each index card. If he has trouble with this, write the letter lightly for him or with a dotted line, so he can trace the letter onto the card with marker.
- Now do the lower case letters! Draw a yellow line under letters that can be read upside down, such as n and u, b and p, etc.
- Have your child flip through old magazines and find small pictures to cut out. Ask her what letter sound each picture starts with. Look for pictures for each letter of the alphabet. Monitor her as she cuts out the pictures and show her how to glue each one to an index card. (Keep track of which letter sounds you need to find by putting the completed picture card next to a corresponding letter card. If you cannot find a picture for a certain letter, try drawing one with the markers.)
- When the glue has dried, your child is ready to play a game! There are two games (below) that he can play with these cards.
Game 1: Alphabet Memory Game
- Put the picture cards aside. Mix up all of the uppercase and lowercase cards.
- Place them face down on the table or floor in a grid-like pattern.
- Have your child choose two cards anywhere on the grid.
- Are the letters a match? Big A with little a? If so, you your child gets to remove those cards from play and keep them. He also gets to go again!
- If they don't match, turn them back over, and the next person goes. Even if the cards don't match, encourage your child to remember where those cards are in case he needs to find them again!
- Keep playing until all of the cards have been matched. The person with the most matches wins the game.
If your child does not know which letters match, you may want to have a piece of paper with upper and lower case letters available for reference.
Game 2: Letter Sounds Memory Game
This game is played the same way except you use one set of alphabet cards and the picture cards. Try to make a match by finding the picture's beginning letter!
Your child can play this game with you, with friends or siblings, or even by himself! Set a timer for a few minutes and see how many matches he can get.
Tina Cho has been an elementary teacher for 11 years, mainly in the kindergarten classroom. She is currently a freelance writer.