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8 Ways to Use Refrigerator Magnets

Here are eight fantastic ways to develop pre-reading skills using alphabet refrigerator magnets (with no mess or fuss)! And if magnets don’t stick to your fridge, you can do these same activities using a metal baking sheet or the front of your dishwasher.

  1. Alphabet Soup

    Pour all your letters into a sauce pan or soup pot. Have your little one give the soup a stir and dish up some “Alphabet Soup”! Hold out your bowl while your young chef serves you up some “G Soup” or “Q Soup” (or whatever variety is the special of the day!).

    Refrigerator magnets in a pot
  2. Alphabet Train

    Mix up the letters in random order. Show your child how she can make a “train” by placing the letters in alphabetical order, singing the Alphabet Song as she goes.

    Refrigerator magnets in alphabetical order
  3. Letter Lookout

    Help your child recognize that there are letters everywhere! Pick out a few picture books or boxes of food. Have your child choose a magnetic letter from the fridge and try to find that same letter in the book or on a box.

  4. Mix-n-Match ‘Em

    Arrange the letters right side up and have your child organize the letters in matching sets. For example, can she find all the letters that have long sticks? How about short sticks? Can she find letters with circles? How about letters with dots? Sort out all the red letters. Can she find the letters in her name? How about the letters in a friend’s name?

    An arrangement of refrigerator magnets
  5. Hide-n-Go Letter Seek

    Scatter your letters around your school room or living room. Give your child a basket and encourage her to say the name of the letters as she collects each one. You can use this activity to increase phonological awareness by calling out the sound of each letter instead of the name of the letter. Download our free Letter Sounds app if you need to refresh your memory on the sounds of the 26 alphabet letters.

    Playing hide and seek with refrigerator magnets
  6. Dig for Buried Letters

    Bury your letters in a large bowl filled with dried lentils, rice, or cracked wheat. Have your child dig for the letters with a magnetic wand. As she finds each letter, have her shout out the letter’s name and the sound it makes.

    Refrigerator magnets in a bowl of rice with magnetic wand
  7. Go Fish

    You can use your magnetic wand for this activity too! Make a fishing pole by tying a string to the end of a yard stick and then tying the magnetic wand to the end of the string. Spread your refrigerator magnets on the floor, and it’s time to go fishing! Have your child dangle the magnet wand to catch “fish.” Have her say the name and/or sound of each “fish” she catches.

  8. Word Wranglers

    This activity is perfect for beginning readers. It will help your child learn that you can manipulate sounds to create new words. Build a three-letter word on the fridge. See how many new words you can make by changing the beginning and/or ending sounds. Here’s one using beginning sounds: Start with cat. Change the beginning sound to make fat, pat, and hat. Now create new words by changing the ending sound.

    Refrigerator magnets spelling the word 'cat'

Looking for a complete program to get your child ready for reading? Check out the All About Reading Pre-reading program! Your child will enjoy special games, crafts, and story time read-alouds, and you will love how it’s all planned out for you.

All About Reading Pre-reading set-up

How do you use letter magnets with your little one? Share in the comments below!

refrigerator magnets pinterest image
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Holly Hayek

says:

Cool idea!

Kate

says:

These are great, low stress options that would engage the most reluctant pre-reader!

Fiona

says:

I love these ideas. I have a 7 and 5 year old who are both struggling on the reading front. I can’t wait to put these ideas into action while I wait for our AAR kit! I have recently decided to homeschool my children and I can’t wait to get started with AAR. Thank you very much for the ideas in this post :)

Merry

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome! And let us know if you have any questions as you work through All About Reading. We’re always glad to help!

Anna

says:

Love these ideas!

Ashley

says:

These are great ideas!

Heather

says:

Great ideas that I can use with our magnets! Both of my boys (even my oldest) would enjoy doing these!

Anne

says:

I’m always impressed with how many great ideas you all come up with. Thanks for sharing!

Shawna Jansen

says:

Love these ideas! My youngest loves to do letter scavenger hunts!

Tara S.

says:

Love these ideas for playing with letters and will implement them with our youngest.

Deidre Swan

says:

I will share these strategies with my sister-in-law. She has a 3 year old at home and he is a sharp cookie! Thank you

Marivi

says:

Wonderful! A lot of varieties way of learning.

Suanna Sears

says:

Thanks for all the great ideas! Sometimes we’ve traced around them on a white board or piece of paper to help them learn how to recognize and spell their name.

Gale

says:

I love magnet letters. Even letting a child pick any combo of letters and sounding them out (or trying to) helps them. Its a great way to show them the rule about needing vowels… “Oops…I can’t say that…there aren’t enough vowels!”

Merry

says: Customer Service

Cute idea to show that every word needs a vowel, Gale!

Kandy Newman

says:

Love these ideas. My son gets board easily so I’m looking forward to using these!

Michelle W.

says:

These are great ideas. I will definately be using these ideas with my pre-readers.

K Spencer

says:

I definitely want to try use our letters for building words since our little man knows his letters well. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Merry

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome; enjoy!

Jessica McKenzie

says:

Great ideas!

Krista

says:

My daughter will love these ideas. She loves her alphabet magnets!

Amy M.

says:

These are the times I wish my fridge was magnetic!

Merry

says: Customer Service

Do you have any metal doors? Our front and back doors are, and work great for magnets!

Ivy

says:

Great to discover this post! Just ordered a set of magnetic alphabets to bring more fun to phonics learning. Thanks!

CHRISTINE

says:

Such fun ideas for my preschooler!

Yuna Park

says:

I’ve been putting off getting magnetic letters because magnetic numbers have ended up all over the kitchen floor driving me nuts. But all the fun ideas from this post makes me want to get them now.

Merry

says: Customer Service

LOL, yes! Great chore for a little one to pick them up though!

Tara M

says:

Love these ideas- my refrigerator isn’t magnetic, but I had been given a bunch of these letters- so this will be very nice.

I just ordered refrigerator letters and numbers this week and the kids love them! (Minus the littlest wanting to eat them… it’s been a problem)

Your Alphabet Soup idea will be a hit with my 3 year old! Can’t wait to try it out :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Amy,
Have fun with Alphabet Soup!

Diana

says:

My two kids are reading like champs, so they take turns scrambling a word and letting the other one unscramble it. Sometimes they get it right away, and sometimes it takes a few days to figure it out.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Diana,
This is an important skill for becoming great Scrabble, Bananagrams, or Words with Friends players! Fun.

Shannon

says:

There are some great ideas here I’ll have to try with my boys!

Tammy

says:

Thanks for posting looks like some great ideas to try!

Shannon S

says:

The ABC snacks from the other day look like fun!

Amanda Snow

says:

I’m so glad you’ve posted this! We have TONS of magnets, but I’ve never quite known what to do with them, other than spelling out words. This was perfect for us!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

I’m glad the post was helpful! You’ll be able to put the magnets to good use! (Have fun!)

shannon

says:

These are brilliant. Can’t wait to try them as my almost 2 yr old daughter becomes more aware of stuff like this.

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