Design Challenge: Letters of the Alphabet

What You Need:

  • Pre-cut pipe cleaners
  • Alphabet chart (optional)
  • Pen and paper for note-taking


What You Do:

  1. Before your child starts constructing letters, make sure that they know all the letters of the alphabet. Ask them to create an alphabet chart by writing each letter of the alphabet on a piece of paper. Depending on your child’s level of comfort, have them write only capital letters, or have them write both capital and lowercase letters. If your child is completely unfamiliar with the alphabet, you can provide them with an alphabet chart.
  2. Once your child has created and/or looked over their alphabet chart, let them know that their job is to create each letter using pipe cleaners.
  3. Quickly have your child brainstorm how they can use pipe cleaners to create the different shapes of the letters, and have them explain this to you before they begin.
  4. After your child fully understands the prompt and has thought about how they will complete the challenge, they can start constructing letters. Give them the pre-cut pipe cleaners, and let them begin! Depending on their level of comfort with the alphabet, you can have them construct both capital and lowercase letters, or just capital letters.
  5. Allow your child to work independently as much as possible, but be sure to help out if they are stuck.
  6. After your child has finished constructing all their orders, ask them to place each of them in order from A to Z. Correct any errors after your child has finished ordering their letters.
  7. Next, it’s time to “test” your child’s work. Have your child recite all the letters they have created, then compare each of the letters they created with those on the alphabet chart.
  8. If your child’s letters match up with the alphabet chart, congratulate them on their success! If any of your child’s letters do not match up with the alphabet chart, point this out to them without making them feel discouraged. Frame your child’s mistake as another opportunity to try, and have them recreate any letters that are incorrect.
  9. If necessary, have your child continue this process until they have successfully created each letter of the alphabet.

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