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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!

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Risper Janet Ogutu

says:

excellent practical way to teach sounds and reading to young learners!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Risper!

Muhammad Asif

says:

Fantabulous . These are the easiest ways to enable children recognize letters n sounds made by them , thanks a lot for sharing these precious ideas.

Barbara McConnell

says:

I think this will work with letters and numbers

Melissa Chabot

says:

I love this idea. I think it would work great with numbers as well. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Melissa. Yes, I think many of these tips will help work with numbers as well.

Ionela stan

says:

Absolutely interesting ideas! Thank you!

Shinae Wyckoff

says:

These are great ideas! Thank you!!

Candee L. Amerin

says:

I hadn’t thought about using a magnifying glass! Neat!

Diana Tan

says:

The different methods to teach the alphabet will definitely make my life easier and also make my young students very happy!

Sarah

says:

Good ideas.

My little ones enjoy playing with them on the fridge. My older kids write messages, and even Mom spells LOAD or UNLOAD on the dishwasher. :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I love your use of refrigerator magnets for the dishwasher, Sarah! I may need to steal that idea. 😊

Jacquie Forrer

says:

I need to pull ours out! These look fun!

Patricia Mora

says:

We write sentences on the refrigerator with magnetic letters. Both my Prek and Level 1 reader switch around the letters to make new words and sentences. We have round magnets that we use for periods at the end of sentences. Every day either my husband or I will change the sentence to something new. The children love that game.

Gretchen Boldin

says:

Great ideas! I just ordered a new set of magnetic letters so this was perfect timing. Thanks!

Alexis

says:

Love this! So many great uses for something most of us have!

Sunette

says:

Thank you for these ideas!! I can use it for Afrikaans as well.

Julie Bryce

says:

Brilliant ideas for pre-reading!! i needed this! THANKS!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Julie!

Cherish

says:

Love these ideas! Thank you for helping us teach creatively :)

Tessa

says:

We use them on our dishwasher as rhe fridge is in a different room. We also take them in the vehicle on long trips.

Melissa

says:

Great activities for parents to play with at home. I shared these with my daughter to play with her daughter.

Jen

says:

My kids all love fridge magnets!

Cindy

says:

Great spelling ideas!

Erma

says:

Playing games is the best way to learn!

Judy

says:

Lots of great ideas!

courtney b

says:

these idas! I love the abcs soup idea

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Courtney,
It does sound like a fun game to play to practice letters, doesn’t it!

Kath

says:

These are wonderful ideas! Can’t wait to try them with my struggling learner. Thank you!

Tracy Barron

says:

I’ve used a few of these ideas before, but some are new to me. It’s amazing how simple and creative learning can be! :)

Kori

says:

I love anything that can make learning hands-on. Thank you for these fun ideas!

Carolyn

says:

So many great ideas!

Kendra S Mackenzie

says:

I remember when my child was younger I would hide alphabet flash .by things that would match the begging letter like letter L by a lamp.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

That sounds like such a fun way to learn letters and their sounds, Kendra! Thanks for sharing this idea.

Angie

says:

Have 2 sets of magnetic letters – thanks for all the suggestions.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Angie. Have lots of fun playing with them!

Lauren

says:

How fun! Can’t wait to share these ideas with the littles. Thank you!

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