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Top 10 Activities for Letter Knowledge

What Is Letter Knowledge?

Letter knowledge is recognizing the letters and knowing the letter names and sounds. Young children gain an awareness of letters as they play with alphabet shapes, start to notice letters in books, and realize that their name begins with a specific letter.

A child who has achieved letter knowledge recognizes all the letters of the alphabet, in both capital letter and lowercase form, and she knows the names and sounds of each.

Letter knowledge–one of the first stepping stones on the path to reading–develops as a child is exposed to letters through play and through planned activities.

Quick Check for Letter Knowledge

Here are five signs that indicate that your child has letter knowledge.

green check mark

Your child can recite the alphabet song.

orange check mark

Your child recognizes the capital letters. If you ask him to point to an M, he can do it.

yellow check mark

Your child recognizes lowercase letters. If you ask your student to point to an r, he can do it.

green check mark

Your child knows the most common sounds of the letters. For example, he knows that the letter B says /b/ and K says /k/.

orange check mark

Your child notices letters in her environment, such as on book covers and store signs.

Letter Knowledge Quick Guide Download

10 Fun Ways to Develop Letter Knowledge

The best way to develop letter knowledge is through a variety of fun, hands-on alphabet experiences. Here are ten activities to enjoy with your child.

Alphabet Picture books

Explore Alphabet Books

For a fun and cozy way to increase letter knowledge, grab some picture books and a blanket and enjoy reading together! Check out our BIG list of Alphabet Picture Books!

Alphabet Song

Sing the Alphabet Song

Sing the alphabet song to your kids when they are very young. When they get a bit older, they will naturally start singing along.

Cut and Paste the Alphabet

Children should learn and master uppercase letters first and then lowercase letters. Our ABC Crafts for Uppercase and Lowercase Letters are the perfect way to learn them!

Match Different Fonts and Styles

Children need to know that letters in text can look different in different fonts, and that printed letters look different from handwritten letters. The activities in this blog post will help!

List of great nursery rhyme picture books

Associate Letter Names with the Sounds They Make

Help your child associate letter names with the sounds the letters make. For example, point out the word pizza on the pizza box and say, “We’re having pizza tonight. Pizza starts with P. P says /p/ as in pizza.”

downloadable phonemic awareness game

Explore the Alphabet with Refrigerator Magnets

Interacting with letters helps children get ready for reading and spelling. Check out 8 Ways to Use Refrigerator Magnets for hands-on activities that can be used again and again to help your child learn his letters.

Feel the Alphabet

Feel the Alphabet

Let your child create letters with playdough, build them with building blocks, and feel them with tactile letter cards. If you like to sew, try our do-it-yourself fabric alphabet.

ABC Bracelets

Wear the Alphabet

ABC Bracelets are the perfect letter-of-the-week craft activity. Your child will love being able to admire his letter just by glancing at his wrist.

ABC Caterpillar

Inch Through the Alphabet

Practice recognizing letters and placing them in a-b-c order as you inch your way through the alphabet with this colorful caterpillar.

Feed the Puppy

Feed the Puppy Some Letters

If your little one loves puppies, this is sure to be a hit. Our Feed the Puppy Alphabet Game helps kids practice the alphabet in a fun way.

Letter Knowledge Is One of the Big Five Skills

Letter knowledge is one of the five critical skills for reading readiness that we call the Big Five Skills. The other four skills are:

If you’re ready to tackle the rest of the Big Five Skills, be sure to check out the All About Reading Pre-reading program. Your student will enjoy special games, crafts, and story time read-alouds, and you will love the way your student effortlessly learns essential pre-reading skills.

All About Reading Pre-reading

Do you have any questions about letter knowledge? Post in the comments below!

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Amy Herrera

says:

Thanks for your program. My son completed Level 1 in first grade and took off. This year we’re whizzing through the rest of level 2 and starting pre-reading with little brother.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It sounds like your son is doing great, Amy! Thanks for letting us know it’s going so well.

Michelle

says:

Love the idea for font matching. Sometimes creative fonts prove a challenge for my little ones.

Taniesha R

says:

Thanks for all the advance on how to teach reading to children.

Kayla Proano

says:

Thank you for so many different ideas on how to engage the alphabet!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kayla!

Emily Sires

says:

Really great ideas. Thank you for sourcing so many easy and fun resources in addition to the curriculum!

Ina

says:

This is awesome! Thank you!

Lori Carter

says:

I love all about reading for preschoolers, it gives them such a strong foundation to build on.

Seka

says:

Good tips!

Anita

says:

Looks fun

Lindsay

says:

My daughter loves Alphabet matching.

Ashley

says:

I’m so curious to check out the Pre-reading program…looks like fun!

Kim

says:

So easy to learn!

Amy Parkhurst

says:

I have used your program for two years now and love it! My son who has dyslexia is doing so well, he use to be so upset to have to read not so much now. For cost effectiveness I tried it with my kindergartener he has no learning set backs but is doing amazing and has no trouble understanding level 1 program. The pre-level looks like fun.

Lydia

says:

So true! My mother-in-law who taught school for 30 years developed her own version of this concept for preschoolers. Letter knowledge is easily understood even by 2-year olds, and they can be taught to read at that age simply through letter knowledge.

Sierra

says:

All of these are amazing! Thank you!

Noelle

says:

I was considering a different curriculum, but after learning more about AALP, I am now excited to purchase the Pre-Reading Level to introduce reading to my youngest and fill in a few missing gaps with my daughter who is exciting Kindergarten. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sounds great, Noelle! Let me know if you have any questions.

Erin

says:

Thanks for the great advice. We love AAR’s style of teaching reading.

Kristin

says:

We are excited to start the pre-reading level soon! My 3.5 year old actually shows to be ready for level 1 on the placement test, but when a friend who uses your program worked with her on post of the first lesson, it was just too much. I think she’ll have fun playing the games and cementing her rhyming skills as she matures a little.

Priscilla Chavez

says:

I can’t wait to try some of these ideas with all three of my kiddos! I have a 7, 4 and 2 year old and they would all love doing this and get alot out of it =)

Keri

says:

These are some great ideas for my 3 year old working on letters

Cassi

says:

Thank you for all the ideas to explore letter knowledge. I know my 5-year-old will be excited to do something creative with her energy while learning fundamentals!

Cheryl Anderson

says:

My homeschooled 10 year old, who reads excellent, is almost finished with 4th grade, but she still struggles with spelling. This was the second year that when testing time came, after doing well in her pace, she missed so many words! I think we are going to try your program from the beginning for a fresh start. She knows her spelling is not up to grade level. I hope this builds her confidence as well as her spelling!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cheryl,
I think you will find All About Spelling to be a great help for your student. My daughter was 4th grade and struggling with spelling when I first found All About Spelling and it made a noticeable impact in a short time.

If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at our Using All About Spelling with Older Students blog post. It tells you how to fast tracks students through the lower levels, ensuring they have the concepts mastered but moving through the easier words as fast as they can.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything.

dani

says:

This program is great. It has really helped our overactive girl focus and learn to read. Thank you!

Kiersten Alagona

says:

The activities in AAR Pre-Reading look wonderful. Reading the letter books from My First Steps to Reading by Jane Belk Moncure complement this program very well.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kiersten,
I haven’t seen these My First Steps to Reading books but they look cute! Thanks for mentioning them.

Tulisha Scott

says:

Thank you for so many ideas! LMNO Peas by Keith Baker has been a great book. I haven’t gotten (too) bored reading it over and over, and my preschoolers are learning to recognize letters and associate sounds.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Tulisha,
Thank you for the recommendation. A book that isn’t (too) boring when read over and over again must be worth looking into! 😊

Autumn

says:

Love this program!

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