Activities that Improve Letter Recognition

Exercises, games and activities are the most fabulous way to review the letters and improve their recognition.  

A coloring alphabet dictionary stencil may be used as another visual aid and excellent fine motor activity. The children would be instructed to color inside the lines of their pictures, which begin with the sound being taught. While the children are coloring the teacher goes around to each child and traces the sandpaper letter with their pointer finger, a few times, while saying the sound slowly, especially if they are auditory learners. Children can feel the letters constructed out of sandpaper or other familiar material, in order to assist the child in remembering these symbols. It again combines the auditory mode with the visual (seeing the letter as it is written in the sandpaper) along with the tactile sense. Kinetic children will enjoy feeling the texture of the sandpaper as they trace the word.  Sesame Street Sings The Alphabet is a tape, with songs about the sounds of the letter, can be played in the background.

Children who are ready for more advanced seat work may receive individual work such as phonics and printing stencils, to do with the instructor. Those who have completed all of the work assigned to them may find their own activity to do Many additional activities and games can be used to call attention to the sounds in words in order to review them.

Clapping Game

In the game “clap if you hear” the children are required to clap upon hearing a particular sound.(clap if you hear the –sound) The sound game entitled “Which One Does Not Belong” consists of discovering and clapping or performing some other command when they hear the word with the incorrect beginning sound. (dog, doll, car,  duck). For a more advanced level, these games may be played to emphasize ending sounds, and finally middle vowel sounds.

Matching Game

The matching game starts out with the teacher drawing a picture to go with words. Then the teacher reads the words slowly, sounding out each letter. Next both the child and teacher reads the word together and points to the corresponding picture. Children may also read the word on their own and point to the corresponding picture. Each time the child is correct they are awarded a point. If they are incorrect the point goes to the instructor.


Puzzles which connect the letters and sounds can be a stimulating and valuable tool for practicing the concept of letter sound identification.

I Spy

In the game I spy, the instructor chooses an object in the room, which the children will have to guess. Start a phrase by saying, I spy something red and round which begins with the A sound(apple) Another variation of this is that the child may be required to name something which begins with a particular sound. Using the phrase “I spy an_ which begins with the __sound.”

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Make a checklist of things for a child to find beginning with a certain letter.

Alphabet Picture Books

In order to create an alphabet picture book, for each letter the child must either create or cut out pictures from magazines of things which begin with that sound. They then glue these onto a paper labeling the page with the appropriate letter to create ones own alphabet dictionary. .

Many letter books and stories are available to reinforce the letters of the alphabet. These can also be integrated with any subject which is being taught. On the day in which the “z” sound is taught one could reinforce this by reading a story about a zebra. 


Extra activities can include art lesson such as encouraging children to draw a picture which begins with the sound learnt. Children can also feel or trace the letters constructed out of other familiar materials such as letter magnets or sponge letters. Sponge painting using letters to construct words is an excellent art activity.  On the day in which I introduced the “n” sound we made necklaces out of noodles to emphasize this sound.


Music activities are an innovative teaching idea as well. To play a music letter game place the letters on floor. The children are instructed that when the music stops they must point to the–sound/or to the letter which the teacher names. This activity is excellent for teaching capital letters, as well as the letter names.