I’ll be demonstrating these activities when I go LIVE AT FIVE ON FACEBOOK this afternoon. Magnetic letters are kind of like comfort food in early childhood. They have been around forever and they can be used in a multitude of ways from preschool to primary grades. They are inexpensive, plentiful, and they are REAL – as opposed to the screen.
Letter Monster – Make a letter monster out of a milk or orange juice jug. Cut an opening in the side of the jug and then make a monster face similar to the one shown with felt and art scraps.
*Feed the monster all the letters you know.
*Feed the monster the letters in your name.
*Feed letter monster all the red letters. Can you name them?
*Feed the monster the letters of your favorite color.
*Choose a letter. Can you write it? Can you draw a picture that starts with that sound?
*Grab a handful of letters. How many words can you make?
*Make sight words with the letters and feed them to the monster.
Can You Find Bottle? Fill a large plastic bottle with salt or sand. Insert magnetic letters and shake. Children shake the bottle and try to identify letters.
*Give them a grid with the alphabet letters. They can color in the letters as they find them in the bottle.
Letter Pops - Glue magnetic letters to jumbo craft sticks. Children can use these to match letters on classroom print. They can also find objects in the room beginning with
*Can they find some friends and make a word with their letters?
*Have children hold up letters as you sing alphabet songs.
Hint! E6000 is the BEST glue for these projects. You can find it at any of the big box stores. Make sure you use it at home because it is toxic and should not be around children.
Play Dough – Put magnetic letters in a center with play dough. Children can make “pancakes” and then press the letters on them.
*Make sight words and press them in the play dough.
Sand Box Treasure - Hide magnetic letters in your sand table. Children can take a magnet and try to identify letters they “attract.”
*Can they make the sound? Can they think of a word that starts with that sound? Can they write a word that starts with that sound?
Letter Password - Place several letters you are working on around your door frame. As children leave the room, ask them to touch a particular letter. (You could also ask them to touch the letter they hear at the beginning of particular word.)
Letter Match Up - Create a class alphabet book by having children draw pictures for each letter. Children find magnetic letters and match them up in the alphabet book.
Shadow Letters - Place letters on a copy machine. Have children match up real letters with their shadows.
Letter Hunt- Hide letters in the classroom. Children will love to go on a “letter hunt.” Can they identify the letters they find?
Can they make a word with the letters they find?
Touch and Tell - Place a magnetic letter in a sock. Can children reach in the sock and identify the letter by feeling it?
Building Words - Demonstrate how to build words with magnetic letters using a document camera.
Alphabet Soup - Place magnetic letters in a mixing bowl. Children take a big spoon and scoop out some letters. How many words can they make with their letters? Ask the children to write the words they can make.
Letter Tin – Place magnetic letters inside a cookie tin. Make three lines with a permanent marker on the inside of the lid. As you call out sounds children place the letters on the lines to make CVC words.
Hint! Place in a center for children to make and write word families.
Letter Play - Let children play with magnetic letters on a cookie sheet or file cabinet.